Tag Archives: aphids

Industry in the garden

18 Jun
Coal tits feeding in the Greenup's pippins

Spot the birds: Coal tits feeding in a Greenup’s pippin apple tree

Amanda loves the early morning, when all’s quiet in the garden and she has a chance to stop and observe the creatures we share this beautiful place with.

Last week, she happened to be carrying her camera when she saw a gathering of coal tits in the Greenup’s pippins. She was especially happy to see them as they were busily feeding their young on her aphids!

Early mornings are also a time when she can take a few minutes to reflect and plan. On a recent stroll, when she was thinking about all the positive comments from visitors about the roof slates she has recycled into labels for the fruit trees, she decided to extend the scheme to include some of the more unusual and striking varieties of perennials.

Although the idea was hers, her handwriting is not up to the task, so her lovely volunteer Kat has taken up the pen once more. She’s been enjoying the job so much, she’s even taken slates home to write at night.

Here are some of the fruits of her labours…

Slate label: Angelica

Slate label: Teasel

Slate label: Globe thistle

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Hi hoe, hi hoe, it’s off on holiday Amanda goes

14 Jun
Volunteer David collects fallen holly leaves

Tidy: Volunteer David collects fallen holly leaves

Alison and Jean tackle the weeds
Hoeing: Alison and Jean tackle the weeds

Amanda’s volunteer team have been keeping me company for the past week, while she’s been on a well-earned break at home with her family. Work hasn’t stopped though, just because she’s been away.

The team have been busy hoeing the heritage vegetable beds as the weeds are suddenly flourishing. Because we’re fully organic, conventional weedkillers are simply not an option, so thank goodness the volunteers are happy to hoe.

When it comes to garden pests, we’re equally principled. We use a range of organic options, including the wonderfully named “nematodes”. These microscopic creatures love nothing better than munching on those pesky slugs who’ve been making the most of the recent damp weather.

As for the aphids that have been trying to colonise all our lovely plants, a soap spray does the trick. Amanda says if you want to give it a try, there are lots of good brands available on the internet.

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