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Out in the garden again today and a random selection of the latest pics...

Annual seeds sown a month ago just beginning to show through...

Seedlings.

The plant between the rows is a Cyclamen.

Seedlings.

This row has California poppies, some cornflowers and a Marigold coming up amongst others.

Seedlings.

Nasturtium seedling.

Seedlings.

Tagetes (Marigold) seedling.

Seedlings.

The ferns round the waterfall are starting to unfurl...Shuttlecock fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Ferns

Hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

Ferns

Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

Ferns

The American Skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is just pushing through...

Lysichiton americanus.

Later, it will have a huge yellow spathe...

Lysichiton americana....Skunk Cabbage.

And finally, very pleased to see a self seeded Common Spotted Orchid. Good to see that they are propagating themselves.

Common spotted orchid.

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The front garden normally looks like this...  (The gap either side of the felled tree,  is where I tried to plant the Laurel hedge) However, at the moment.... This is the view.  ()Actua

Already plenty of Lavender and Bluebells around which is probably what attracted them in the first place.  It's like after a hard days pollinating and nectar-gathering they just want to hang around "t

We get loads of them come back from the building sites we develop...bricks, blocks everything come on pallets, but no-one wants them back...it's un-economical to skip them, so we burn 'em. Wait till y

  • 3 months later...

Just wanted to talk today about a serious problem that TWF members with Box (Buxus sp.) bushes/hedges might have encountered this year...especially with the warm weather we've had. This is a specimen of Box topiary in my garden, and at first, I thought it was the dreaded 'Box Blight' a fungal disease which can be fatal if left untreated.
Box caterpillar.

On closer inspection, however, I found the leaves had been chewed by something, and delving deeper into the bush, I found numerous yellow and black caterpillars hidden amongst dense webbing that they had spun. 
Box tree caterpillar.

The damage...
Box tree caterpillar.

Box tree caterpillar.

There were so many caterpillars, that the trees were surrounded by copious amounts of frass (caterpillar poo)
Box tree caterpillar.

These are caterpillars of the Box Tree moth.
Box tree caterpillar - treatment and control | lovethegarden

I had never encountered this before, and did some research. The Box tree moth only appeared in the UK in 2006, imported accidentally from Asia, but the first caterpillars were not found in private gardens until 2011. By 2014, it had become established in the Home counties.  Since then, it spread across the south of England and is now found in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The caterpillars cause serious defoliation to Box, to the point that if not eradicated, they will kill the plant. And therein lies the problem. Because the larvae tend to live just under the outer surface of the box plant, in dense webbing that they spin, normal insecticides are of little use as they don't penetrate below the surface, and if they do, they can't get at the larvae which are safe in their silken 'tents'. Systemic preparations (ie ones that are absorbed by the leaves and translocated to all parts of the plant) may be of some use, but as Box has shiny, tough leaves, absorption is minimal. Help is at hand, though...there is a biological method of killing the larvae via a bacteria that is sprayed onto affected plants. Once ingested by the larvae, it affects their gut, and kills them within a few days. Repeat applications made at a couple of two weekly intervals should help break the cycle. This preparation is available via ebay (but not available in shops/garden centres) and  is called Xen Tari. 
Box tree caterpillar.

Keep a sharp lookout for the adult moths in late April/May and destroy any you see, also keep an eye on your Box plants, and the minute you see any of the symptoms mentioned, obtain and use the product above. Hopefully, I caught mine in time, though there a couple of 25 year old topiary specimens which may have been defoliated too far. Will keep updated.

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7 minutes ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Just wanted to talk today about a serious problem that TWF members with Box (Buxus sp.) bushes/hedges might have encountered this year...especially with the warm weather we've had. This is a specimen of Box topiary in my garden, and at first, I thought it was the dreaded 'Box Blight' a fungal disease which can be fatal if left untreated.
Box caterpillar.

On closer inspection, however, I found the leaves had been chewed by something, and delving deeper into the bush, I found numerous yellow and black caterpillars hidden amongst dense webbing that they had spun. 
Box tree caterpillar.

The damage...
Box tree caterpillar.

Box tree caterpillar.

There were so many caterpillars, that the trees were surrounded by copious amounts of frass (caterpillar poo)
Box tree caterpillar.

These are caterpillars of the Box Tree moth.
Box tree caterpillar - treatment and control | lovethegarden

I had never encountered this before, and did some research. The Box tree moth only appeared in the UK in 2006, imported accidentally from Asia, but the first caterpillars were not found in private gardens until 2011. By 2014, it had become established in the Home counties.  Since then, it spread across the south of England and is now found in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The caterpillars cause serious defoliation to Box, to the point that if not eradicated, they will kill the plant. And therein lies the problem. Because the larvae tend to live just under the outer surface of the box plant, in dense webbing that they spin, normal insecticides are of little use as they don't penetrate below the surface, and if they do, they can't get at the larvae which are safe in their silken 'tents'. Systemic preparations (ie ones that are absorbed by the leaves and translocated to all parts of the plant) may be of some use, but as Box has shiny, tough leaves, absorption is minimal. Help is at hand, though...there is a biological method of killing the larvae via a bacteria that is sprayed onto affected plants. Once ingested by the larvae, it affects their gut, and kills them within a few days. Repeat applications made at a couple of two weekly intervals should help break the cycle. This preparation is available via ebay (but not available in shops/garden centres) and  is called Xen Tari. 
Box tree caterpillar.

Keep a sharp lookout for the adult moths in late April/May and destroy any you see, also keep an eye on your Box plants, and the minute you see any of the symptoms mentioned, obtain and use the product above. Hopefully, I caught mine in time, though there a couple of 25 year old topiary specimens which may have been defoliated too far. Will keep updated.

You take care delving delving deeper into that bush!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking at the weather this weekend, we'll be finishing off the back hedge. Managed half last weekend. Hedge gets cut once a year. Back to the wood for the cut and 3ft growth over the year. Always enjoy a few pints afterwards. :thumbsup:

shr_1255.jpg

shr_1256.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Over much of the Summer and continuing into Autumn my bird baths have become overrun by bees.  Whilst I don't mind the bees using the facilities, so to speak, they are very protective and selfish and chase the birds away when they try to have a drink or take a bath.  They even swarm around me when I'm replenishing the water; the ungrateful beestards!

Obviously they'll retreat to their hive as the weather gets cooler but, for next year, do any of you have any ideas about how I might deter bees without affecting birds?

Short of having some childish fun with a flammable aerosol and a cigarette lighter I mean :laugh:

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Are they honey bees or bumble bees? If the latter, it might just bee a one off for this year. As winter approaches, the nest of the current years bees should die out and not bee a problem next year. I had a bumble bees nest under my garden waterfall a couple of years ago, but after winter was over, they never returned. 

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7 hours ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Are they honey bees or bumble bees?

They're honey bees.  The lady a few doors down from me is a beekeeper.  I can watch vast streams of them approaching down wind before coming in to land, having a drink and then taking off into the wind and heading off back to their hive.  It's like Heathrow Beeport sometimes.   

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On 21/09/2020 at 08:40, rhaythorne said:

They're honey bees.  The lady a few doors down from me is a beekeeper.  I can watch vast streams of them approaching down wind before coming in to land, having a drink and then taking off into the wind and heading off back to their hive.  It's like Heathrow Beeport sometimes.   

You could try planting lavender to distract them.

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Already plenty of Lavender and Bluebells around which is probably what attracted them in the first place.  It's like after a hard days pollinating and nectar-gathering they just want to hang around "the pool" drinking with their mates!

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On 25/08/2020 at 18:31, Roger the Dodger said:

Just wanted to talk today about a serious problem that TWF members with Box (Buxus sp.) bushes/hedges might have encountered this year...especially with the warm weather we've had. This is a specimen of Box topiary in my garden, and at first, I thought it was the dreaded 'Box Blight' a fungal disease which can be fatal if left untreated.
Box caterpillar.

On closer inspection, however, I found the leaves had been chewed by something, and delving deeper into the bush, I found numerous yellow and black caterpillars hidden amongst dense webbing that they had spun. 
Box tree caterpillar.

The damage...
Box tree caterpillar.

Box tree caterpillar.

There were so many caterpillars, that the trees were surrounded by copious amounts of frass (caterpillar poo)
Box tree caterpillar.

These are caterpillars of the Box Tree moth.
Box tree caterpillar - treatment and control | lovethegarden

I had never encountered this before, and did some research. The Box tree moth only appeared in the UK in 2006, imported accidentally from Asia, but the first caterpillars were not found in private gardens until 2011. By 2014, it had become established in the Home counties.  Since then, it spread across the south of England and is now found in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The caterpillars cause serious defoliation to Box, to the point that if not eradicated, they will kill the plant. And therein lies the problem. Because the larvae tend to live just under the outer surface of the box plant, in dense webbing that they spin, normal insecticides are of little use as they don't penetrate below the surface, and if they do, they can't get at the larvae which are safe in their silken 'tents'. Systemic preparations (ie ones that are absorbed by the leaves and translocated to all parts of the plant) may be of some use, but as Box has shiny, tough leaves, absorption is minimal. Help is at hand, though...there is a biological method of killing the larvae via a bacteria that is sprayed onto affected plants. Once ingested by the larvae, it affects their gut, and kills them within a few days. Repeat applications made at a couple of two weekly intervals should help break the cycle. This preparation is available via ebay (but not available in shops/garden centres) and  is called Xen Tari. 
Box tree caterpillar.

Keep a sharp lookout for the adult moths in late April/May and destroy any you see, also keep an eye on your Box plants, and the minute you see any of the symptoms mentioned, obtain and use the product above. Hopefully, I caught mine in time, though there a couple of 25 year old topiary specimens which may have been defoliated too far. Will keep updated.

An update on the Box Tree caterpillar situation. Approx 6 weeks on and the badly defoliated Box topiary in my garden seem to be recovering, thank goodness! New leaves are starting to show, and it looks as if the moth infestation has died out for this year, as I've not seen any adult moths for a couple of weeks now. My two mantises loved them, and would both eat up to 10 a day, there were so many around!

All I have to watch out for now are early frosts, which will damage the tender new growth. I have plenty of fleece in store in case frost is forecast.

6 weeks ago...
Box caterpillar.

...and now.
Box tree caterpillar.

Box tree caterpillar.

Box tree caterpillar.

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