I have read reports this Spring that we are to expect a huge number of Painted Lady butterflies
in the UK this Summer. Apparently they migrate from Africa to Northern Europe each year and there are supposed to be millions on their way now. Yesterday I saw 4 of them just on my lavender flowers alone! Has anyone else seen large numbers in the UK yet? and where are you?
Another sort of insect, in the garden is the plum maggot moth
. Below you can see that I have hung out a pheromone lure
in my plum tree. The little rubber thingy in the centre is impregnated with female plum moth sex hormones!! The poor male moths fly in there thinking that they are going to get lucky... and they stick to the sticky paper! This prevents them from laying eggs in my lovely plums.
Couldn't resist another photo of my Golden Sweet
pea and my Purple Podded
pea, they are in full production at the moment! Glorious.
This was my first raspberry
, it ripened yesterday and I ate it straight from the bush! Today I had two more ripen, but one of them was half eaten by a blackbird. Naively I thought that perhaps these London blackbirds might not know what a raspberry was.... and perhaps they might leave them alone. Wrong! tomorrow I will cover them in a big sheet of fleece!
One more point, I have started the habit of leaving just one or two vegetables from each crop to go to seed each year. The broccoli flowers early in the year were a real magnet for the bees who were climbing all over the yellow flowers. Here you can see that I left a parsnip 'Hollow Crown'
to go to seed from last year. Already it is 7ft tall and covered in yellow flower buds. If you have just a little bit of space, it seems to me that they prefer vegetable flowers to flower flowers... or am I just a little bit biased?
Spare a thought for your pollinating insects and just leave somehting for them!