Pollen up close

A 50-year old microscope - very heavy, which is just as well because a lighter one would have blown across the garden in the wind this afternoon

A 50-year old microscope - very heavy, which is just as well because a lighter one would have blown across the garden in the wind this afternoon

We had a very productive afternoon preparing beds for annual seeding, moving plants, edging beds - and we got to see pollen grains up close with a borrowed microscope. This was very successful using just natural light. Here are some other photos of pollen from an MSc student.

We looked a snowdrop, primrose and hellebore pollen, which are oval; round and yellow; and rugby ball shaped with pits and a seam vsisible down one side: here is a higher magnification photo of hellebore pollen.

We moved some of the wallflower and sweet william plants into blocks in the newly edged narrow beds, which are apparently best for bees - not so far to fly between flowers.

One of the single snowdrops - a pollen supply.

One of the single snowdrops - a pollen supply.