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It's cold, there's snow on the ground, and all is quiet in the garden. But I've just been outside feeding the wildlife. In my case that does not mean putting up nut-filled bird feeders or hanging fat balls, it means tipping the kitchen waste
with anyone growing plants for their roots or tubers. Most species, though, are dead wood feeders, and they include lots of very rare species, which only occur in old woodlands, ancient hedgerows and other important wildlife habitats. Their larvae feed
.Its English name is the gorse shieldbug, and far from attacking garden plants, it focuses its attention on gorse. As far as I know there is no gorse anywhere in gardens hereabouts, but there's a small broom at the front of our house. It will also feed on other
It rained on Sunday, so what better way to spend the day than planting roses? Well, I went and played Power Rangers in the bushes in Dulwich Park with 3-year-old, while my partner did the planting. She'd ordered them at Chelsea, and we'd almost
. It feeds on a wide number of native wild plant species so it's unlikely to become a nuisance, just another brightly-coloured insect to decorate the garden. I'd certainly be interested to hear whether anyone else has seen this critter in their own gardens.
and grass, and it is here that I think they have been living all summer. Like many insects, once feeding is complete they deliberately move away from the food source to find a suitable place to pupate. There are, perhaps, two different reasons for this
, pinks and yellowy greens.The nondescript green or brown caterpillar feeds on a huge range of native and cultivated plants, but it's usually very secretive and never a pest. It was sitting in its distinctive pose: head down body slightly raised with its
of the finest herbaceous plants in cultivation'. However later editions, after about 1905, state 'it is easier to plant than to get rid of in the garden'.
150 years. It feeds on the fruits, using its stylet mouthparts to suck out the juices, in autumn moving to the berries of yew, which also grows profusely on the chalk downs.However, during the 1990s Gonocerus was found, first, at Bookham Common
"So what are these things on my lavender?" said the complete stranger, plonking down a jam jar full of beetles on the table. Ordinarily I would have been pleased, but slightly surprised, to be accosted like this, but Saturday 17th May was open