Latest posts by Tallulah

21 to 30 of 38

Creating a wildflower garden

Posted: 27/06/2013 at 00:03

Thanks for suggestion about shasta daisies fidgetbones but if I'm going to have a wildflower patch I would like some diversity of form and colour to create the fresh and airy quality of a typical wild flower meadow.....can't actually believe that I'm the only one facing what I would have thought was a perennial problem in wild flower plantings and yet Monty and co. never seem to mention what to do about the Thugs.

Talkback: Lily beetles

Posted: 26/06/2013 at 23:46

Well  I live just north of wonder boy..... in Herts.  and likewise am rather bemused at lack of a respectable show of lily beetles so far this year....3 max ....and none in the last 2 weeks!! I am not allowing myself to be lulled into a false sense of security however, since I think this is another one of their cunning strategies because they have realised that   we are all now aware of the 'pretending to commit suicide by jumping off a leaf when spotted and then landing on your back and feigning death' routine!...No, I am convinced that we have not seen the last of them. I believe that they are in  hiding ...probably  in underground bunkers...and that they are most likely at this moment either  regrouping in preparation for their main assault or being trained by 'Beetle Command ' in the ways of terrorist warfare and will probably launch their attack on an unsuspecting gardening public of East England  later in the summer .....most likely when we are all away on our summer holidays. So wonderboy ,do not be surprised if you come back from your summer holiday to find that all your lilies have exploded!!

Creating a wildflower garden

Posted: 26/06/2013 at 09:08

hello everyone ...I'm new to this discussion but need advice about wildflower THUGS! I have a strip of land adjacent to my drive on which nothing which I have ever planted over the years will grow.....even buddleias !! I think it's because it used to be a sand/ gravel heap left by builders which was eventually levelled and then  covered with a thin layer of rubbish soil. Its also subject to watershed from winter rains which presumably drowns anything with half decent roots. However I have noticed in summer I get a healthy crop of oxeye daisies , buttercups, vetches and other unspecified ' weeds'....sadly including thugs such as  docks , nettles , thistles and brambles. None I of these have been planted by me.... and since weeds( wild flowers by another name ) seem to be the only residents happy to occupy that particular space I've decided to give in and go with the flow and redesignate it as an official 'wildflower strip'. The first and most pressing of my problems now is how to deal with the aforementioned thugs ( ideally without  decimating existing wildflowers) and then how to keep them at bay in what they clearly regard as a des res!


Talkback: Lily beetles

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 01:10

Verdun.....well done for being wildlife friendly but beware ant poison ......especially powder like Nipon. A local beekeeper told me recently that one of the greatest dangers to bees is in fact ant powder which can easily be picked up on a bees legs and even the tiniest amount once transported back to the hive or nest can wipe out the whole bee colony! I have been looking around for a non chemical ,environmentally friendly  alternative and have found a number of posts on the web claiming that powdered polenta sprinkled around the ants nest is brilliant because apparently the ants try to eat it but their digestive systems cannot cope with it and they die. Also boric acid is supposedly poisonous  to ants. Have recently tried polenta and results so far looking very good.....but have not yet been able to find boric acid.

Talkback: Lily beetles

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 01:30

So long as you are sure to replace all the compost (in which I believe they overwinter)  I guess this may help to get rid of existing colony of beetles but would not  prevent more beetles from floating in from elsewhere....and I don't think that lifting lilies every winter does them much good.....they seem to become more sturdy and established for being left alone. Unless you grow them in pots replacing ALL the compost would not be a very easy task!

Problem plant!

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 20:24

Agreed ....give it a good burial!

How to attract butterflies

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 20:14

Thanks everyone.....I actually grow all of above plants....but must make a point of allowing my herbs to flower! i seem to attract far more bees than butterflies.....also I'm not sure what would be an average butterfly count for a garden.....I certainly have far far  less than I remember in my childhood garden 50yrs ago when our solitary buddleia bush would be  constantly smothered with them.


Posted: 23/06/2013 at 01:15

Well I guess dolly that since you don't pamper them then you don't water them with a sequestered iron solution or any other form of tonic for lime  hating plants? Perhaps your good loamy soil is the answer then. Mine is London clay,  perhaps not yet sufficiently conditioned with organic matter. The site I attempted to grow them in was shady and damp however. Perhaps I need to apply more leaf mould and more neglect!!


Talkback: Lily beetles

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 01:00

I have loads of lilies in my garden which normally attract a regiment of lily beetles but for some strange reason I've seen very few this year...SO FAR! However in past years I have never needed to resort to a chemical solution but have found that an  almost daily beetle patrol where all invaders are executed on sight ,has very effectively halted their progress through my plants.....this has not seemed onerous nor does it seem to take that long provided they are hunted down regularly. When I spot one I cup my hand under the host leaf before the pest has time to drop to the floor out of sight....(its natural reaction to danger)....I then tap the leaf and catch the catch the insect as it drops into my hand. With very  bad infestations however  you can commit mass genocide by placing a cloth on the earth under the lily  plant and then  shaking the whole plant whereupon all resident beetles will abandon ship and jump out of the plant  landing on the cloth when they can be dispatched.

happy dispatching 


How to attract butterflies

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 00:31

Thanks Daintiness. My observations about lack of butterflies in my garden however applies not just to this present summer....which is clearly not going to be conducive to butterfly sightings ....but to previous summers as well. Im  interested to know why you think your garden normally attracts plenty of butterflies......is it very warm and sheltered I wonder. 


21 to 30 of 38

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