Hello, I’m back…
Somehow I lost enthusiasm for sharing my thoughts. It all started to feel like a bit of a vanity trip to nowhere. However, Spring is here etc. etc… I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been enjoying several good gardening days on the trot.
I absolutely adore this time of year – quite apart from the obvious morale-boosters of the rapidly expanding driftlets of crocuses and snowdrops under the leafless trees, first thing each morning I wander at a snail’s pace around the garden, thrilled to see new rashes of welcome tiny seedlings (of poppies, fox gloves, primulas in the little bog garden) and the little green noses of emerging perennials and late spring bulbs.
As I go I pinch up little colonies of weeds – bitter cress and willowherb – that still appear here and there, and scrabble around picking up the last of the winter garden debris. It all gets my complete attention and takes ages – and I find that on a sunny spring morning it is absolutely the nicest way to start my day.
Too soon for biological slug control with Nemaslug (the soil is not warm enough), little black and brown slugs are already in action and can decimate seedlings and the first shoots of some perennials. So I have put out protective barriers of copper, grit and/or sheep wool (SlugBuggers) around plants that are known favourites.
New this year is a grit barrier (apparently with a rougher surface than most and therefore more efficient) from Eco-Charlie. It looks pleasantly low-key and seems to be doing an admirable job around such slug-caviar plants as my Rudbeckia ‘Green Wizard’ that got nearly eaten to death last year.
Within each barrier I put two slug pellets to knobble any little horrors that find themselves trapped within. Yes, two pellets – that is all it takes, and you can pick them up the next morning with the corpses… I learnt last year the hard way about slugs and snails trapped within my elaborate fortifications.
Something else I learnt last year – slugs and snails don’t eat perennial Aconitum (Monkshood), so if you have to give up on Delphiniums, at least you can have some tall blue/purple (slightly later) verticals in the garden in the form of Aconitum carmicahaelii ‘Arendsii’- and it does not need all that messing around with plant stakes, twigs or hoops either since it is self-supporting.