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Donkin's World: Panzer Mums

Richard Donkin draws our attention to the annual buttefly display at RHS Wisley.

The annual butterfly display at RHS Wisley opened a few days ago. http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2677970 It's always popular so if you're keen on taking photographs - particularly if you use a tripod - you need to pick your times. If you join the weekend crowds, prepare for butterfly rage with queues of people cramming in to the sauna-like glass house, jostling each other to get that iphone shot of Auntie Nellie with a butterfly on her nose.

Weekdays there's the risk of school parties and always there are the panzer mums. The panzer mums trundle their incredibly well equipped buggies around like tank commanders preparing for the battle of Kursk. They are impossible to pass when pushing side-by-side on the garden paths. They live, eat and sleep with their buggies and are known for their esprit de corps and ferocity in battle.

It's bad enough when they're on the move, but once they've released their tiny shock troops, nothing can stand in their way, not even the Ninja grannies and they are fierce enough. Believe me, these butterfly shots come at a heavy price. I've seen photographers go insane in that place.

There's a problem just now with killer Robins. A pair live in the glass house and they like eating butterflies. The last time this happened the RSPB was summoned, trapped the robins and released them 10 miles away. Meanwhile a new pair were biding their time outside waiting to claim the vacant slot. Look at any image of Wisley and it's peacefulness personified, but there's a dark underbelly. Not everything in the garden smells of roses. The butterfly display runs until February 24.

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RHS Wisley http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=mv_gardens&utm_content=gardens_brand_wisley&utm_term=rhs%20wisley

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