jayA couple of interesting garden observations this week. Having just seen the first signs of slug and snail attack on my newly planted summer bedding (Portulaca) I resorted to the ‘blue sweeties’ to attract and ‘deal’ with the little ….pests.  (Yes, I know I shouldn’t, but I find that they are the most effective way of dealign with mass infestations).

The following morning, a nice ‘crop’ of newly frazzled corpses lay on the beds. I was sitting reading and glancing out of the french doors and saw a Jay land, pick up a snail in it’s beak, and ‘wipe’ it on some soil before flying off with it- and it happened again. An example of a bird that’s learned not to eat slug pellets?

Today, I fixed some supporting timbers to my ‘fruit fence’ (where I’m training a Cherry and a Plum as fans) and a pallet-based reinforcement to the bed the fence sits in (more on this little project in due course), As I was carrying out the summer prune of these two fans, I noticed (a bit late, I know) that the Cherry was covered in black fly. As I expected there were ants (who ‘farm’ the aphids for the sweet juice they suck out of the plant) and ladybirds doing their best to hoover up the infestation. But to my surpise, there were also many solitary bees finding their way into the furled up leaves – I can only guess that they too had discovered the free supply of sucrose!

 Have you seen either of these things in your garden? Do you have an explanation? Do you have any of your own interesting observations?

Old School Gardener