It seems i have battled for most of the summer with slugs, snails, lily beetle, earwigs, ants, scale insects, squirrels, cats, and the dreaded vine weavil. I don’t use any pestisides in the garden as i have frogs and toads and a lot of visiting bees and beneficial insects such as ladybirds etc. I bought some diatomaceous earth, food grade to deal with some of the pests anyway this works very well if it does not rain as to be effective it needs to be dry, i also tried a solution of borax and sugar for the ants this also worked for a while. There have been so many slugs and snails this year far too many for the frog population so i been lending a hand picking them off on a regular basis.
The worst has been the devastating vine weavil and the grubs the plump c-shaped white legless grubs have light brown heads and are up to 10mm (about 3/8in) long. They are likely to be found among the roots. They have destroyed my grapevine and wistera which were growing beautifully and a lot of annuals. I have not tried the insecticide liquid drench yet but i will have to sooner or later.
Frogs are a passion of mine.I have a small pond in my garden which i built around 6 years ago, it only took one season for the frogs to find it and ever since i really look forward to spring and hearing them and of course watching them spawning, i cover the pond with some form of protection( you will see this in the photo’s) I do this because of preditory wildlife and cats of course. This year 2014 a few days ago on 10th March i counted approx 16 frogs possibly more that i could not see, how wonderful, so it got me to thinking maybe i will expand the pond.i will post some pic’s of the the frogs.
10th April 2013 .Well the snow has gone but it’s still very cold here in the northwest we are still having early morning frosts, But alas no rain which the garden needs right now as the ground is so dry , rain has been forecast for tonight, fingers crossed, however the garden is slowly coming to life. We have a visitor, yes it’s a squirrel although it’s very sweet it is helping itself to my bulbs, so many of my Lilly and other bulbs have disappeared i know this because yesterday i caught it red handed digging up a lilly bulb,as it saw me the squirrel dropped the bulb and ran away, a few days ago i could not understand why there were holes and deep depressions around the garden they were not characteristic of the mess the back birds make digging for snails or grubs. so what do i do? to preserve my bulbs i wonder, one idea would be to buy it some food a little searching on google should give me some ideas There is still no frog spawn in the pond which i find quite sad i always look forward to that event. I do hear the male frogs but i do think it’s to late.
The snow is still thick on the garden, it was very unexpected for this time of year, only a few weeks ago the frogs were ready to spawn the birds were making nests, the plants had new growth and the bulbs were just about to flower, and i had just planted delicate spring plants and now nearly the end of march the snow is approx 3 inches deep and because it’s so cold, it has frozen! i will not know what damaged it has caused untill it clears and at the moment according the weather forecast it’s staying for a week or more. However i am always pleasantly surprised with ‘mother nature’ and how most things in the garden manage to survive through adversity, accepting the fact of course that i will have a few casualties so looking on the bright side i will have more room to re-plant which is always a joy as i just never have enough room for everything i want to plant.
On the other hand i do worry about the wildlife, there is a lot of small frogs in the garden and they were out and about a few weeks ago i wonder if they had time to dig themselves in the soil before the snow arrived. The blackbirds had made 3 nests.
The evergreen plants seem to be fine and are well established which always helps, The hellebore just love this weather snow does not deter them at all and the snowdrop heads are just popping through the snow.
January 2012, So far so good we have not had any snow up to now in fact the weather has been quite mild even the plants are flowering. the white helebores as usual look stunning the plant has 11 heads this year it started to bud in november and now all the flowers are open. I even came across a tiny frog when sorting the garden very unusual.
One of the new beds i have changed for this summer last year i had fushia’s this year its going to be a rockery with the plants being from the blue end of the spectrum. the sunflowers did very well last year in pots so this year i going to plant them at the back along the fence hopefully they will get a good start before all the foliage around them starts to bloom. Can’t wait to start sowing seeds in the green house again.
The birds have been a wonderful site we have had goldfinches, wagtails, longtail tits, robins, hedge sparrows and the normal blackbirds of course.
25th February i heard the frogs croaking all through the night, so they are out of hibernation, it’s earlier than last year which i think is a good sign as the frogs know best. so spring is on it’s way