purple was the first colour that my daughter took notice of, commenting that a friend’s grey yearling was a “purple horse” – he was, at that stage, a soft smokey dark purplish brownish grey. he did grow up to be a wonderful event horse, Ghosttown.

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first purple are the damsons that contributed so much to that cake. the trees are suckers that have grown up from the rather feeble victoria plum. I much prefer the damson fruit to the plums, which are quite acid, and I usually get a good crop.

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not unrelated, sloes. I planted three blackthorn bushes for the early flowers, and this is the first year I have had fruit on them, after a wonderful show of blossom this spring, a bit later than usual. perhaps that’s why the pollination was more successful. but I don’t think I am going to be able to leave them on the tree until the first frosts; the ripe ones are already falling off. here’s hoping I can make some good sloe gin this year. I suppose I can just keep picking them up and saving them in the freezer (the alternative to waiting for the frost).

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cardoons, huge thistles competing with the hollyhocks in the tiny front garden.

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knapweed or hardheads, mostly over now but very attractive to bees and butterflies.

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dahlias, very easy to grow, and with climate change, no need to dig up the tubers and store them over the winter. even the relatively cold winter this year had no deleterious effect.

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purple milk vetch, a native, likes calcareous soils and short grassland, was considered to help milk production as a grazing plant.

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wild mallow, an enthusiastic climber, which tries to invade all parts of the garden and definitely gets too big for its boots.

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and buddleia, in its natural form, lovely purple flowers smelling strongly of honey, and crawling with butterflies. a comma

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and the first red admiral I have seen this summer. I checked this out and discovered that they migrate north each spring, continuing through the summer, from North Africa and continental Europe. the immigrant females lay eggs and consequently there is an emergence of fresh butterflies, from about July onwards. they continue flying into October or November and are typically seen nectaring on garden buddleias or flowering Ivy and on rotting fruit. there is an indication that numbers have increased in recent years and that overwintering has occurred in the far south of England.

so that is my eight. but I have to add two non purple events

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this dragonfly flew into my pottery workshop yesterday and was trapped under the glass skylight. he was very noisy in there, with his massive wings. I managed to scoop him up in a cone of rolled up paper. it took him five minutes to reorganise himself and fly away.

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these two large pieces drying in the sun are the last two pieces to go into the bisque firing, and the final throes of a very Lucy Rie influenced funnel top vase obsession. final only for the time being, however.