Bug patrol and peony joy

Going into the garden for some heavy pruning and edging, I found myself on non-stop bug patrol. The green/black fly have started on the roses, are continuing on all the soft fruit and still attacking the new growth on the maples. I prefer to share the job with ladybirds than to use to insecticide, and the ladybirds are in short supply, so to keep up with them I have to spend the time.

Then there are the lily beetles. If there is anything nastier than squashing a lily beetle, it is dealing with their larva. These are encased in revolting black smeary gunge and need a strong stomach, but as far as I know, there is still no known predator in the UK. I love the lilies so it’s worth it.

There are compensations, peonies don’t seem to be afflicted with bugs:

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Talking to a worm

I have a feeling that talking to a worm is a sign of serious derangement, but that’s what I found myself doing this afternoon. The garden is dust dry and the bugs have arrived. I have to go on daily lily beetle patrols and blackfly inspections. The maples, now in their glorious new growth are under constant attack. I love every leaf, though, so I willingly spend time squishing the wretched beasts.

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