Archive for Gardening and bugs

Those quiet weekends!

I just love the weekends, or maybe I should say I love the unpredictability of weekends. Ok Saturday we shop, like it or not there is always that trip or two to the shops but after that anything goes. I just love waking up knowing there is no need to get up early on a Sunday morning. Harry doesn’t have to go to work and generally the housework is all done so I can relax. Then once I get up there is nothing to do and somehow I miss the structure of the week and I’m bored. The weather isn’t good enough to garden yet, although maybe someone should tell the bugs that. In particular the snails.

Most people know how I have battled the bugs and diseases in my garden, well it looks like this year is going to be no exception. Barely have the first few green plants poked their shoots above ground then they are there, waiting like a wave of germ warfare at its strongest, to dessimate the few plants that have survived the feline invasion trying to unearth them while they slept.

Outside my back door the light wall seems to attract snails, they even park themselves on the bathroom window, watching, taunting me. A daily roundup does nothing to lessen their numbers and despite a vigourous ‘sweep’ of the wall and surrounding garden, another marauding wave arrives to start all over again the next day. Tender leaves on a goji berry plant disappear overnight, flowers on the primula that struggled to get above ground level last year are once again a tasty meal for either the slime brigade or the fodder to ease the hunger of the green and mutiple legged walking mouths.
The pond is another trap for anything that is destructive and the blanket weed that has resisted all treatment finally choked the pump, filter and fountain to death halfway through the winter.

Well, we planned to spend time on trying to eradicating the problems as soon as we could but never quite got around to it. Then this weekend two of my children came over, one of whom was my very energetic and strong son. It took him less time to fix the pond pump etc, sort the electrics and get everything working and catch a few baby fish promised to a friend than it took for me to prepare the Sunday lunch for him, my daughter who popped over too see him, and two granddaughters who played perfectly in the garden gathering snails.

I think I should maybe retitle this entry as those wonderful, unpredictable weekends. What a super day, and far from being a relaxing, do nothing, lazy kind of day, more was achieved in the garden than would take me a week to get half way through, Harry managed to recycle some old timber to make a bridge cover for the drain, we fitted in a visit to friends in the country to deliver the fish and share a cuppa and a chat with, we ran a couple of errands to my other daughter’s as well as spending the precious time with the children. Best of all, after all that ‘hard work’, a lazy take away supper was the final order of the day. The bugs and slugs will have to wait until another lazy Sunday.

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Postaweek2011: Changing times.

It has been a while since I posted because life has just been so busy. I am working on some more illustrations, been babysitting two of my gorgeous grandchildren, working in the garden and trying to organised meals for H and I to keep our weight loss going. We have both lost just over a stone – that’s 14lbs to date. As well as everything else I have to do, all the exercise is taking its toll on my poor bones and a few sleepless nights knocked me for six, therefore I have been swapping the midnight bedtimes to try and catch up on some sleep. My time in the sun really helped and after everything I had tried, a day in the garden – nearly killing myself with pain – gave me the first good night’s sleep for ages. I did give in to painkillers though.

Before I share my scraggy garden I have to give a couple of examples of my wonderful, funny Harry. I will ignore the fact that he wakes at 4.30 am every weekday morning to two simultaneous alarms that compete with each other for rhythm and volume. Oh dear how awful, I hear you say. That, my friends, is the good bit! A sudden rendering, complete with dance, I might add, of ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ followed by, ‘See you later my darling, you have a good day, I am off to meet my public, you go back to sleep.’  accompanied by a torch flashing to the rhythm of his singing, ( he doesn’t want to disturb me by switching on the light) and well, if I can get back to sleep an hour later I am lucky. So tiredness crept up on me.

Bedtimes are as equally amusing and tonight I had to laugh. He allowed me to take his picture, little does he know what I am doing with it hehehe. As I entered the bedroom after him I caught him in his PJs with a sun hat on and a penny whistle waiting there to make me laugh as I walked in… It worked! Bless him.

      

I think you need to hide my dearest….  Our life is many laughs and I am not complaining in the least. Everybody loves Harry and I think I am a very lucky lady to have found such a great, funny guy this late in life. There you are Harry, not FB but when I told you I’d publish it…… xxx

Right, now to my little plot of bug infested land. I wrote some time ago that I had a problem with bugs and slugs and, unknown to me, caterpillars. A friend said they didn’t hatch until june/July but my earlier post with Maica proved that they did indeed overwinter and survive to hatch the following year. As I cleared the weeds the other day I jumped when my hand touched something extremely hairy underneath them. Altogether I found three of the sweetest and hairiest caterpillars I have seen. I tried to photograph them but boy, were they fast. I did get some pictures though.

Before I show my garden here is another Harry caper – giving the fish a drink???? >

Now for the caterpillars:   Isn’t he a hairy little fellow? I have discovered that the Tiger Moth has declined by 89% over the last thirty years… hmm they need to look in my garden! 

The next picture shows how relentless I have been with my bug catching – well snails in particular – Homes to let anyone? The Monkey peas seem to like them anyway.

Much as I love the caterpillars there are only two flowers in the whole garden that haven’t been eaten, the violas and the pansies, all my Primula have gone,  at least I know why now…..

Here are the two surviving flowers, one of them has been chewed though. 

Despite having only two surviving plants and a dislike of bugs there are a few that I like to see around the garden. The following  three pictures are of three different colour damsel flies and a ladybird.         The Green damsel fly seems to have moved to the end and my text has sort of changed colour and is underlined, things are moving around and I have no clue how to change it all.

   

OOh it has all gone back to normal again.

I will try to post some more tomorrow because there are several lovely pictures of  a rose that my son and daughter in law bought me for Mother’s day a couple of years ago that is just so amazing. It changes colour  from yellow to orange to red and during these phases has the most vibrant colours, to the point that one stage looks like it is a fire from a brazier, white-hot in the middle to red on the outside. I did notice a green-fly on the petals though. Time to try a different bug spray!

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