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't have to worry about the attentions of cabbage white caterpillars. I still had to protect them from pigeons, though. It's a bit of a happy accident that I ended up growing red cabbages. I bought a few plants towards the end of last summer for no better
by boiling). They also provide food for the caterpillars of some of our loveliest butterflies, including red admirals, small tortoiseshells, peacocks and the lovely comma . They not only feed butterflies and ladybird larvae, but can also feed us (although
and climbers, making them appear more hedge-like. Maybe the gatekeeper caterpillars, which feed on grasses like other brown butterflies, prefer a more shaded aspect to feed in.Or it may simply be that gatekeepers spend more of their time perching up high
all over south London, caused by caterpillars of the tiny moth Cameraria ohridella. Sure enough, the maple was growing right next door to a horse-chestnut so heavily attacked that it had browned prematurely for autumn.It turns out that this recent
hand, the caterpillars of the rose sawfly, Arge pagana, shredded whole branches a few years ago so I waged war with a pair of narrow tweezers, squishing each one I came across.
the spiky black orange and white caterpillars, but I expect them to be around shortly.
, where birds such as sparrows can hunt for caterpillars and garden pests. A clean bird bath provides them with water to drink and clean their feathers (which enables them to insulate themselves against the cold).There’s nothing like that in my garden
jam) and watched the ladybirds stumbling around like the bride's uncle at a wedding reception. I also wandered off to the vegetable garden and sneered at the caterpillars on the kale leaves.And now, as I sit here in my office there is a large and noisy
, stilt-like legs and stiff T-shaped stance. I think it’s most likely the common bindweed plume, Emmelina monodactyla. I’ve got the tiny caterpillars chewing the bindweed leaves in my garden.There are about 40 UK plume-moth species, but as my colleague
ready for the council to come and collect. On some of the leaves were ladybird pupae, while spiders spun new webs in the wreckage. There may also have been chrysalises of the holly blue butterfly, whose caterpillars feed on ivy in summer. They