Look a little closer!

Last week I was on holiday, a busman’s holiday some would say, but for me spending most of my holiday in the garden is a peaceful break and certainly not work. I didn’t do much because I just felt like tidying up, relaxing and enjoying everything around me. It didn’t take long though before I began to observe things a little closer. Thank goodness I didn’t have a magnifying glass!

I jumped on some red lily beetles off my lilies, with a closer look spotted little clusters of tiny red elongated eggs on the underside of several leaves. If you have lilies or fritillarias have a good look. It’s the first time that I’ve noticed the eggs. They were on the leaves that are higher up the plant. A little squishing with my fingers put an end to them.

Rust has always been a fungal problem lurking in my garden and it seems to show itself in different plants every year particularly weeds. Last year it attacked the dog violets, this year couch grass and common spurge. Anything with a hint of rust has to go!

Another weed that seems to be trying to get a hold is Fat Hen. I can’t believe how many young fat hens I’ve plucked out of my garden this season. Thank goodness everything else is getting bigger and covering the ground more giving them less space to get in again.

Bindweed and Cleavers (Goosegrass) is always a nuisance, the bindweed tends to curl itself tightly around the plant stems, and cleavers hooks onto and tries to smother everything. I pull it up from the ground and unravel it from the stems and foliage of the plant. I know I shall never be rid of them so I have a level of control that I’m happy with.

The new project that I worked on last year is proving to be very successful and has lots of colour but that little euphorbia keeps sprouting. I can see its going to hound me for years to come. I shall just keep digging it out whenever I see it.

I noticed my lovely Japanese Maple that I wrote about the other week had scale insects on its stems. Scale is a little sap sucking insect that reminds me of a little scab sitting on a white cushion. I don’t like spraying unless it’s absolutely necessary so I washed them off and will spray if they return.

I’ve had  a few slug hunting evenings and mornings and didn’t find the monster slugs that I was expecting after all that rain of last year, in fact I haven’t found many slugs at all. Maybe the birds that I encourage into the garden are keeping them at bay for me, hopefully my hostas will stay looking beautiful for longer and not becoming ‘net curtains’ too quickly.

That’s only the back garden…….