As I write this it is Sunday 9th May. It is Garden Day in the UK and we are enjoying the calm and serene of our little garden in a town. It isn’t a huge space but, it is a great little space that we are slowly and lovingly building into a tranquil little outdoor space to enjoy as a family of three.
Today had been a gloriously relaxed garden day, I made us a flower crown using some English Ivy that grows abundantly over one of our side walls along with a couple of Buddleia strands that grows along the boundary of our garden. To add some colour I took a vase of week old tulips, still a glorious array of colour but starting to fade and gave them a new lease of life. Held together with some natural jute garden string and hey presto we have a beautiful flower crown.
Living life in our little oasis with a milky coffee and lazing in garden chairs at our bistro table we enjoyed an alfresco lunch under a blue cloudy sky, sprinkled in spurts by rays of golden light from the sun.
Considering we live in an urban area, the wildlife is surprisingly abundant. Parakeets squawk overhead and settle in a large Aspen tree that stands between the gardens of some neighbouring houses tall and proud. We are in turn visited by a magpie, pigeon and several sparrows all looking for some of the seeds or fat balls that we lace out for them. Along with the occasional seagull that flys by and decides against landing. The array of birds is not overly varying today but other creatures have caught our attention today.
We have noticed over the last couple of weeks that our little Buxus bushes have started to wither away and apart from perhaps a little lack of watering on our part we cannot fathom how or why they seem to be dying. Having brought them because they are evergreen we struggled with the fact that they were very dull and turning brown.
It wasn’t until today when we decided that one bush who seemed to be struggling in particular must not have enough room in the large pot it was in. So, we re-potted it and I decided to snip it back slightly to see if that would perk it up slightly. It was then that we found that our little Buxus was the home to a family of caterpillars. After a little Googling we came to the realisation that our neglect had nothing to do with the withering plants and that in actual fact they were being eaten.
As a couple of amateur gardeners who are only just learning of the ways of gardening we began plucking these little garden eaters from their perch and popping them in a little part of wasteland the other side of our boundary wall. Replacing them with a spritz of anti bug spray in the hopes that we will be able to bring our bush back to life.
After this initial discovery we proceeded to check the other plants in the garden and found numerous amounts of caterpillars all cleverly disguised that you can barely see them amongst the green leaves. Generally these little mini beasts do not concern us. However, our little bushes are still very small and if the slightly larger one is anything to go by they will soon get eaten alive.
What a way to spend garden day. Saving our garden from being eaten. We learned a new lesson today, that we need to pay more attention to our plants when something appears to be wrong. But, for now we appear to have won this fight and I will now be settling down with my Sunday paper to enjoy a little reading before the chill gets to me and I have to reluctantly head indoors to admire nature from behind glass.