RHS revision book cover (c) Rianne Mason

August garden journal

Writing my RHS revision guide!

I put so much effort into this that I had to give it a shout-out! I love learning and I’ve been studying my RHS level 2 theory from home. The problem with the online provider was that the material was simply videos (that you lose access to after a year) and the printed dialogue of the videos. So nothing actually useful when it comes to revising for exams.

I put my content skills to good use and created a categorised, navigable revision guide that’s structured against the curriculum. It’s what I wish I would have got with my online course. This is only 6 of the 8 units worth (as I’ve passed the first 2 already) – turned out pretty chunky!

Admiring the butterflies

Butterfly (c) Rianne Mason
Butterfly (c) Rianne Mason

My RHS revision took so much of my time this month that my only contact with the garden was occasional strolls to get fresh air. Sights like this were a welcome reminder of why I’m changing paths to be on the nature trail.

Anyone know what kind of butterfly this is?

Getting shocked by a mushroom

Mushroom in compost (c) Rianne Mason
A mushroom in the compost (c) Rianne Mason

Sometimes, when you’re stressed and haven’t emerged from your desk for days, it’s the little things that set you off into a giggle. For me it was this mushroom that totally shocked me when I was emptying my coffee grounds one morning. SURPRISE!

Solving a begonia crime

Begonia plant dug up (c) Rianne Mason
Begonia ‘un-plugged’ (c) Rianne Mason

Another morning surprise as I headed out with my coffee grounds (coffee became a common theme this month) was this perfectly ‘un-plugged’ begonia. It was just laying there in despair having been somehow removed from its plot.

I was confused for a while, who or what would un-dig a plant so specifically? It turned out to be the dog having his compulsory earth dig after an evening wee (I caught him the following night). Thanks Murphy.

Spying on a frog

Frog (c) Rianne Mason
A frog in hiding (c) Rianne Mason

It might have been the begonia incident leaving me in a state of un-ease but there’s something suspicious about this frog hiding out amongst the compost skyscrapers. He’s planning on robbing a bank I’m sure of it.

Being forced to take a photo of this slug

Slug (c) Rianne Mason
A huge slug (c) Rianne Mason

Parents know their kids better than anyone. My mum knows that when I’m sinking into a stress pit of despair the best way to snap me out of it is a sharp reminder that life is pure silliness. So this was my mum, shouting me into the garden to show me this giant slug that she came across whilst weeding.

Thanks mum, I appreciate it.

Saving orach seed

Orach seed (c) Rianne Mason
Orach seed (c) Rianne Mason

Some seed is just begging to be saved and when they look as pretty as this how can you refuse! I get very excited about seeds (let’s face it they’re essentially magic dust), so seed saving is something I’d like to get better at.

I saved these orach seeds and after they had dried out completely I sent them to The Lemon Tree Trust – a cause I care about very much. They send seeds, either bought or saved, to refugee camps to allow refugees some way of providing for themselves. They also run garden competitions for them and generally make their lives a bit brighter. If you have any spare seeds it’s easy to help out too, just pop them in the post (contact them via their website)!

Being amazed at shield bugs

Shield bugs (c) Rianne Mason
A shield bug army on an iris (c) Rianne Mason

Look at them all! I counted 23 in total. I have no idea if they’re damaging to plants but they look impressive and are the perfect shade of green to go un-noticed. Smart.

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