Angle Shades And A Competition

I spend a lot of time thinking about what my next post might be.  Especially when I’m mowing or weeding or doing some other mindless task – after all there’s no-one to talk to; no-one real anyhow.  But sometimes the decision is made for me.

Like the other day.  I was potting up some plants in the greenhouse (sempervivums, since you ask), bent down over my stuff-to-go-to-the-compost-bin-bucket and saw this:


A handsome, largish moth – though it was only when I got home that I identified it as an


angle shades; which is, you’ll agree, a fine name.  An angle shades moth (Phlogophora meticulosa).  I suppose I’d carried it into the heated greenhouse (hidden amongst my fascinating semp collection) and the warmth woke it up.

DSM_9712I tried feeding it on the only flowers I have in the greenhouse at the moment: Pachyphytum oviferum (it wasn’t keen) and


pelargoniums (keener).  But I couldn’t tell whether it actually drank any nectar.

The larvae of the moth eat a range of herbaceous plants so I suppose I should’ve been wary of helping it.  But how could I not;

DSM_9740especially when


it looked me so earnestly in the eye.

So I gave it a little sugar-water and the following day, when it was finally a little warmer, popped it out on the grass.  Their caterpillars feed mostly on nettle and dock – of which we have plenty.  As long as they stick to those we’ll get along just fine.


Have you had an encounter recently?  With a creature that was a little unusual?  No, I don’t mean that kind of encounter; an encounter with a non-human creature?  Have you seen and photographed


a mammal?


Or a bird?


or perhaps an insect?  Or whatever?  Something in your garden (though not necessarily – we don’t really have elephants or black vultures at the Priory); something that you haven’t seen before or only rarely?  Because those jolly nice people at Select Furnishings (and me) are holding a competition to win one of these:


It’s an outdoor fire pit (in case you wondered), sells on their website for £139.00 and will keep you warm long after the barbecue has gone out.

If you’d like to win a fire pit, here’s what you need to do:

If you’re a blogger, just publish a post detailing your ‘encounter’ (with at least one photo).  You’ll need to put in a link to this Anxious Gardener post (in order that I know that you’ve entered) and somewhere in the article put in a link to Select Furnishings.  And that’s it.

If you’re not a blogger, don’t despair and wipe away those tears; you too can enter.  Just e-mail your post to including at least one photo and I’ll publish it here on the AG.*

Sorry but the competition is open to UK residents only.  I’m away for a few days next week so the closing date will be midnight 3rd May 2013.  Select Furnishings will choose the winner and I shall announce the result in due course.

Good luck!

* I may exercise some editorial control – but only after consulting with you.

33 thoughts on “Angle Shades And A Competition

  1. Incredible photos. I love how you fed the moth. I saved a peacock butterfly the other day that had become entangled in a spiders web. It was a delicate operation which involved me talking to the butterfly whilst I poked the web away with a stick. it was a lovely feeling went it was able to fly away again. Have a lovely break away.


    • I’ve fed bumble bees before, WW but never a moth. I’ve since learnt that angle shade caterpillars are the culprit behind the holes in my echiums last winter. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so caring after all. D


  2. Moths are kind of like the sparrows of the lepidoptera world (do I mean lepidoptera?) — their more colorful relatives get all the glory, when their own shading is really magnificent when you stop to look at it. Really closely.

    Heard the first hummingbird whizzing by over the weekend, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an encounter — more like whiplash.


  3. Dave, a very tempting offer, though, as a man who loses everything, I might as well not apply – besides which I live down here. Apart from some silver-eyes and a pair of magpie larks that have appeared lately, the most exciting thing to have happened lately – non-mammalian, I’m afraid – is the appearance of a tawny frogmouth in my apple tree. And that, for me, is big news. Doesn’t take much, does it?


  4. The competition is open to UK residents only? Well that’s a shame since I’ve just encountered a shark in my pond and some pterodactyl are nesting on one of my bird boxes… I guess I’m going to build a firepit on my own then. (And after all, the people that uses their furniture seem to drink a lot of Champagne and I prefer Prosecco over Champagne.)


  5. Stonking photos. Glad I am not the only one who “writes” future blog posts whilst gardening. In my case I usually then forget them, but am left with the haunting feeling that it would have been a really good one… The firepit looks really cool (!), but I have had no interesting encounters. Not that I photographed, anyway, there was a blackbird stuffing its beak with so many still-wiggling worms I was spellbound, but had a rake in my hands, not a camera… I counted 6 worms, all still wriggling, before it hopped off. I was impressed.


  6. Your moth is really cute. It does seem to be keeping an eye on you. I can’t help feeling it would have been quite happy living in your greenhouse drinking sugar water and you chucked it outside to fend for itself and rough it foraging for nectar itself.


    • Yes, well I’m a very heartless person, Amelia. Someone on Twitter sent me a photo of echium leaf damage done by angle shade caterpillars – something I’d experienced but hadn’t known the culprit. Do now. D


  7. Hmmmmmm… encounter ay? Hmmmmmm….off to hang out somewhere shady with my dodgy camera & see what happens. Watch this space 😉


  8. My post today was probably a suitable entry but I’m not in the UK so can’t actually enter the compitition, but you might enjoy it anyway! Christina. Enjoy your break.


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