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Bugs alive

I guess with the sunshine and the great goodies the garden has to offer, it is not surprizing that I will be seeing more and more critters taking advantage of the flowers! But, I have seen less bugs, so far, than last year. The ladybird beetle is back and she loves the celery and coriander bushes. Aphids are still my archrivals. They are in the roses, lemon tree, brassicas and now I see them in the Artemisia Powis Castle. This is unusual because I thought that bugs don’t like the Artemesia plants. Well, that is where the Ladybird beetle comes in – go fetch!!!

My Calendula is something new to my garden. I read about the great benefits of this wonder plant – Calendula is has been used throughout history in skin preparations. Calendula is beneficial for dry or damaged skin and also promotes the fast healing and regeneration of the skin because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Applying calendula topically is effective for decreasing inflammation and promoting the healing of wounds, burns, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. But the beetles swarm the flowers and the caterpillars are making a feast of it!

[one_half]Munch munch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Little black beetles everywhere[/one_half_last]

I seem to think that the bugs like the YELLOW!! This is the first spring that I have so many ‘daisy-like’ flowers – this is Chrysanthemum.


My hero – the Ladybird beetle!! Go get em!!

Oops! sorry! I see you guys are busy!

A Dandelion in the meadow does not escape the jaws of these little critters!!

I am happy to see that my home-made bug spray is working wonders. I always start with a soapy solution for the Aphids, but this doesn’t seem to last long. I have to apply it frequently, so I tried a new solution. I take Tansy leaves and Artemesia Wormwood and make a tea of this. I have read in Margaret Roberts’ book of 1000 herbs that these two are excellent bug repellants. I fill a bucket half way with the leaves, pour boiling water until it covers the leaves. Leave to cool. Strain the tea and place in a spray bottle with a teaspoon on Sunlight liquid (dishwasher liquid).

I sprayed my Roses last thursday and the Aphids are still gone. However, the new shoots need treating, so I will give it another splash of Bug Spray! This is the only plant that I spray – the rest I leave for nature to enjoy. I have so much to be thankful for, I can let it slide for now!

Happy Gardening xxxx

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

9 replies on “Bugs alive”

I can confirm that Calendula is excellent for burns. I have some pre-prepared cream and it has stopped me getting a scare when I burnt myself quite badly on the steam from the kettle!

It seems nature does take care of the bad bugs and I tend to leave them alone and let nature takes its course….although with some invasive non-natives i resort to other methods but no chemicals.

Loving the ladybugs as we call them here.

I’ve noticed that same lure that yellow has here. Each year we get hoards of an unknown species of tiny black beetle all over the Encelia blooms. I wonder what the attraction is? I’m surprised you aphids on your Artemisia, I have the same variety growing here, and nothing ever seems to touch it. Yours must be especially tasty!

Thanks for the homemade spray recipe for aphids. I also noticed aphids on my roses, which I have taken to squashing between my fingertips. They are green and much bigger than I expected (me being a gardening newbie). I presume they are aphids. I also noticed a lot of white tiny things on the buds, but they have subsequently disappeared.

I did buy the Ludwig’s Copper spray for blackspot etc, but when I got home and read the insert, I was so shocked by the precautions one needs to take (and the dangers to pets, ruins the soil) that I refuse to use it. I had made up a homemade spray for whitefly (learned from the Morne on Cape Talk on Sat mornings), and I blasted my rose bushes with that a couple times. No idea if I should’ve! But I am little lazy to make up new sprays, and I don’t have enough spray bottles, and the whitefly spray is ready and waiting. So far, I have not seen those white dots (baby aphids?) any more, and the larger green ones are far and few between, and manageable via the fingertip squash method.

BTW what do you use for blackspot? I’ve taken to cutting off those leaves and disposing on them in the trash (not my compost). But I also read that applecider vinegar works, and I did spray once with it, but that was a while ago, and the blackspot is creeping in. I have thinned out the bushes a lot to increase air circulation, and they look nice and healthy.

A garden without insects would be… I don’t know what. A florist shop?

Glad you’re keeping an eye out. How long until baby chameleon season? Not only do I want to see more photos of those tiny lizards, but I’d be nervous about accidentally spraying them. (I’ll spray my plant table indoors, but rarely will I spray outside.)

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