Live and let live

White Rose

White Rose – black spot

The garden is coming on a-pace at this time of year and the new seedlings have managed to hang in there despite some rough weather. At the beginning of May we had high winds to contend with and more recently another area of low pressure has tested the resolve of the pea plants and the young cabbages and brussels. What the latest anticyclone did bring was some welcome rain as the ground was beginning to look a little parched in the intervening dry spell. That’s not to say that it has been warm – far from it – with this having been a very cold May.

Runners and French ready to climb

Runners and French ready to climb

And there have only been minor incursions from critters intent on ruining the planting. In the flower beds which we have planted with perennials and annuals, we have put chicken wire to stop the rabbits eating the cosmos, and this also discourages Ella with her size 15 paws from trampling them too. She seems to understand that jumping over chicken wire is a bad thing after being shouted at a few times when taking an “as the crow flies” route across the veg patch.

The evidence of badger foraging

The evidence of badger foraging

The only major incident of pest control has involved the rose that we transplanted from a tub to the hotch potch border. When putting the rose in its new home I thought I would give it the best chance of survival by using some blood and bone fertilizer around the roots.  Unfortunately I had forgotten b n b is attractive to omnivores such as dogs, who tend to take it from the pots of roses.  This pilfering of plant food was taken to a new level by another intruder – I assume a badger – which dug a monumental hole under the newly transplanted rose.  It looked like some sort of Great Escape tunnel, it was that well constructed, though the earth had been less well concealed, being sent across the grass rather than subtly kicked into the dirt of the exercise yard.

Elsewhere we are looking to contain an outbreak of leaf spot on the roses, and the first black fly are beginning to appear on the broad beans and – I am disappointed to see – on the Sea Holly.  This comes at a time when the Sea Holly (Eryngium) is finally beginning to look like the illustrations suggested, as up till now the leaves have been more oval and broad than I was hoping.  But they have finally settled into their new environment and sent up a central spike which is actually showing spiky leaves.  I thought I had been sold a dud, but now it looks as if a separate plant has been grafted on the base.    It’s all such a voyage of discovery.  You never know what’s round the corner with this lot.

Outside we have not – so far – had any mice eating the young plants so have not had to put up too many barricades as yet but in the greenhouse the row of Pak Choi shows signs of rodent attack, while down the borders (well I know) the lupins will just fail to show.  The heads have been eaten.  I am not suspecting mice – perhaps some little weevil I guess.

But the predators do not have it all their own way as I did find a dead mole on the grass – apparently giving itself up to the authorities, hands in air.   Ella has an occasional go at digging them up, so maybe I just leave it to her to police the beds.

Live and let die.

 

About midlifegardener

Being a PE teacher in an Independent School is increasingly pressurised with collleagues and parents alike offering opinions on how you should be doing your job. So time spent in the garden is essential in maintaining one's persepctive on life, as other skew theirs.
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