June has so far been all that is expected of it, divine clear skies and balmy evenings and some rain and then some more wet rain. You don’t have to dig far down to see how little effect the rain has had. If the water runs straight through the pot, its not because its full but because its so dry it cannot take it up. Saucers underneath are the answer and are where the watering should be done from anyway. These are usually discreet pot-coloured affairs but you can get fuchsia and lime coloured saucers which cheer up a dull concept. A bit like having a pinging yellow washing up bowl rather than a tasteful grey.
Our last garden club speaker talked about garden friends and foes. Some fascinating facts emerged. There are 500 plus species of aphids in the UK!! Happily, the UK also has over 250 species of hoverflies, 31 species of lacewings and 46 species of ladybirds and at various stages of their life cycles they almost all eat aphids. Of those ladybirds there are so many sizes and colour variants, including yellows and principally black ones, that sorting out the infamous harlequin is quite difficult. BUT harlequins have a (small!) white triangle on the front of their heads. Happily, the 22-spot yellow ladybird eats mildew! When the infestation of aphids or mildew gets ‘too much’ and the temptation arises to reach for the spray, bear in mind that predator populations follow that of prey so be patient. Also, if your spray includes ‘acetamiprid’, it’s a neonicotinoid. We still have 270 species of bee species and over 9000 species of wasps, only 7 of which are ‘picnic’ wasps. They all have their niche lifestyles and the fusspot inconvenience of ‘spoiled’ garden plants is not really excuse enough. A healthy plant will bounce back and one that doesn’t might not be worth the space.
Wishing you all a happy summer and contented gardening.
Our next speaker is Abigail Ballinger talking about ‘Somerset, a county of Glorious Gardens’. You may have seen her book in Bailey Hill bookshop. This talk is available to members via the magic of Zoom and new members are always welcome – we do not have a space restriction after all! The talk is for 7.30pm on Thursday July 1st, the zoom room is open from 7.15pm.
See our fabulous new website for more information www.castlecarygardening.com
Also on the website are the fill details of the Annual Show on Saturday August 7th at Caryford Hall. Anyone can enter for free https://www.castlecarygardening.com/2021-annual-show .