It’s a small world...

Last year one of my birthday presents (!) was a digital microscope. I’ve always enjoyed using them since my days at the John Innes Institute in the 1970s when I used one to look at the stages of pollen development in anthers - particularly tobacco and Datura - part of our work on pollen culture.

DM4 Digital Microscope

The one I bought is a DM4. It has a 4.3” screen and a rechargeable battery so can be taken anywhere. Unfortunately it didn’t come with any instructions so to start I thought I would give you the benefit of my trial and error. It works like this:

DM4 Digital Microscope Instructions

Switch on: long press on ON button on right hand side.
Set time and other microscope features: short press MENU, then use arrows and OK button.

When you switch on it is in video setting.
To change to camera: long press on MENU
To review photos/videos: another long press on MENU
Press again to come back to video.
When in appropriate setting then press OK to record or take photo.
To stamp date & time on photo: in video setting press MENU (see photo) and select Time Stamp.

It is very easy once you’ve got the hang of it.
The cost was about 40. Well worth it I think and something children would enjoy using.

Today (2nd June 2020) I went round the garden looking for tiny flowers. Here are the results with one or two surprises.


This is a real favourite and self seeds all over the garden. It’s easy to pull out where you don’t want it.

Forget Me Not Plant
Forget Me Not Flower
Forget Me Not Stem

BORAGE - Borago officinalis

This also self seeded from last year’s plants. They are annuals.

Borage Plant
Borage middle of flower
Middle of the flower; the blue anthers were a surprise
Borage Glandular Hairs
The glandular hairs on the sepal are very obvious

MOTHERWORT - Leonurus cardiaca

According to Culpepper this plant takes melancholy vapours from the heart and makes women joyful mothers of children. Not a very exciting plant to do all that but obviously worth cultivating. The tiny pink flowers don’t show up much on the plant but close up they are very exotic.

Motherwort plant
Motherwort Flower Closeup
Flower closeup


This is a pretty plant which seeds around and produces edible fruit which are quite small.

Alpine Strawberry Plant
Alpine Strawberry Flower
Centre of flower with unexpected visitor

PROCUMBENT PEARLWORT - Sagina procumbens

We have two Sarracenia plants growing in a pot on the patio. Yesterday I realised there was something else growing at the base of each plant which must have been in the original pots when I bought them. An unusual feature is that it doesn’t have any petals, and a surprising number of very small seeds.

Procumbent Pearlwort
Procumbent Pearlwort under magnifying glass
The leaves have a tiny bristle only visible under the microscope
Procumbent Pearlwort Closeup

BLACK ELDER - Sambucus nigra - ‘Black Lace’

A really beautiful tree especially when in bloom as it is at the moment.

Black Elder Plant
Black Elder Magnified
The anthers have released the pollen

LADY’S MANTLE - Alchemilla mollis

A lovely acid green which looks great and lasts well in a vase.

Ladys Mantle Plant
Lady's Mantle Plant Magnified


This enjoys living in the Paradise Garden. There are two big clumps of it.

Thyme Plant
Thyme Plant Closeup
Flower closeup

MOON DAISY - Leucanthemum

This grows at the end of the Secret Garden in part shade. It shows up well at dusk. A member of the Asteraceae with a complex flower head. Ray florets on the outside and little disc florets in the middle. There was another surprise little visitor, about 1mm long - possibly a thrip.

Moon Daisy Plant
Moon Daisy Disc Florets
Disc florets

HAIRY TARE - Vicia hirsuta

Another wild flower that appeared in the garden. The flowers are very tiny and look white until magnified. Distinguished from the other tares as it only has 2 seeds in the pod.

Vicia Hirsuta Plant
Vicia Hirsuta Magnified
Flowers closeup


Post a Comment

Popular Posts