Monday, June 5, 2017

Being outstriped by nature.

Nature takes over if you don't keep it in check, just being in  hospital for  four day and nature took advantage, Simon was coming to see me every day which was a four hour round trip, not leaving much time to do all that he does on a daily basis, never mind additional work, and  last week was spent getting my new regime organised so Simon had far less time to spend in the garden. Thistles and nettles have tried to do a takeover bid, and the soft fruit bushes didn't get  checked for unwanted bugs.
One of the so far unaffected bushes.
We had never had gooseberry sawfly before, but we have it now,
Gooseberry sawfly has been busy.
 three bushes  have been striped completely of their leaves, two had been started on and there are  three that the sawfly hadn't got round to. Simon has hand picked and squashed over two hundred caterpillars' today, and we will try the rhubarb leaf treatment on Wednesday, we can't do it tomorrow as we have to pick up this years table bird chicks. Although we have close friends who are wanting chickens from us again this year we have decided that as I'm now rather out of action we will only be doing them for ourselves. Selling finished birds did pay for our own birds, but there is a fair amount of work involved with growing them and especially processing  them.
The flower garden is looking great now,
the Delphiniums are all in flower, yellow Iris and my favourite,
the black Iris are flowering,
the Hostas are just starting
 and at last the Arum lilies are flowering.
One of the Clematis that we planted four years ago has at last rewarded us with a flower, it only the second time that it has flowered, maybe I have neglected it, I'm never sure about pruning Clematis. One way that we get new plants is by cuttings, most of our Dianthus have been grown from cuttings and several of our roses, old derelict cottages often have lovely old fashioned roses scrambling in their hedges.
This rose was grown from a cutting taken two years ago come August, it's now six foot high and full of flowers.
Roses are very easy to take cuttings from and in under two years you will have them flowering.
Spotted in our lane is a web covering a willow bush, the leaves have been striped and the caterpillars have vacated the web, it would seem that it was the web of the ermine moth, it's not something that we had seen before.
The weather is still warm but the very hot spell has gone, we have also had some much needed rain.


  1. We were hit by the gooseberry sawfly last year. I'm normally on top of the job, but these plants were in a new place and out of sight. The bushes were bare of leaves within a day!
    Love the black iris.

  2. Another fifty picked of today, the bushes have now been sprayed with rhubarb leave tea, will see if it works. I also love the black Iris, it's so unusual.

  3. It doesn't take long for nature to reclaim any space which you turn your back on, even for a short period of time. We had gooseberry sawfly, they're such a pest, they strip the leaves in a couple of hours and it's so hard to keep on top of them. I love that black iris, it's a beauty.

  4. How did you deal with the sawfly Jo? Yes the black Iris is beautiful.

  5. Wow, I can't believe the destruction caused by the Sawfly! What a shame, I hope the other bushes remain unaffected. Garden looking beautiful as ever, I also love the black Irish, so pretty xxx

  6. I have now ordered some Neem oil from Amazon, rather shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but there are plenty of other uses for it. Cant believe that I had t get it on line, supermarkets in Spain all seemed to stock it. Have had very strong winds here which tried to destroy the delphiniums , I love unusual coloured flowers.

  7. Sawfly is terrible. If you can run the chickens in there this winter. Should sort them out.

  8. Sawfly is terrible. If you can run the chickens in there this winter. Should sort them out.

    1. We had ducks in the fruit cage all winter and spring, maybe ducks don't like sawfly? We have now sprayed the bushes with neem oil and under the bushes we used stinging nettle juice, seems to have done the trick, only time will tell.