Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Visite de jardin en juillet

Friday, June 28th, 2019

Il fait chaud et sec mais ici dans le vallée en peut trouver un joli jardin avec beaucoup de fleurs, et grouillant avec les insectes et papillons.

Invasion of the box tree caterpillar

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Finally I have found a web site with some real details on the the box tree caterpillar/pyrale du buis This last few months we have really struggled to deal with the problem and now we have an invasion of caterpillars from all around us. It is a real catastrophe for the local environment. If you can read the French go to this site, if not, here is something in plain English.

At the moment we are at the caterpillar stage and if you haven’t already treated you need to spray the whole bush with Bacillus thuringiensis. This is the same stuff which you can spray on cabbages to treat the caterpillars and both caterpillars look similar. It is a biological control and only harmful to the the caterpillars that eat the leaves. Garden centres normally stock this product, but you can also find it on the internet. Obviously if it rains you will have to spray again and repeat again after 8 days if you still find live caterpillars. Our caterpillars have been around awhile so they must be ready to pupate. At this stage it is a good idea to use a pressure washer to remove all the debris, the caterpillar shit and hopefully any cocoons. Trim the hedge, or even cut it back to base, but give it a high nitrogen fertiliser, something suitable for evergreen hedges. It is a risk cutting it back really hard, but most of ours have come back. The next generation of moths will be with us, ready to lay eggs after 3 weeks and the whole cycle begins again.

Ideally you have a trap (piege) for the male moths. It won’t make much impact on the numbers, but it will help you to judge the most effective time to spray again. The moth lays 200- 300 eggs in the middle of the bush and they hatch in 2 days. It is suggested that you spray 8 days after you find the first moth and again 8 days later. They overwinter as caterpillars, so it is really important that this last treatment is done. The moth is around from April to November, so there are going to be several generations.

For some box bushes and hedges it is already too late, but I urge you to at least try and save a few bushes. I have found caterpillars eating other plants when they have exhausted the box, but it seems the holly and Euonymus are also vulnerable. If the moth cannot find any box it is likely to turn to these shrubs.

Jardin ouvert/ Garden Open

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Notre jardin <<organic>> est ouvert dimanche matin de 9h à 13h en juin et juillet.

Jardin agrément et potager – fleurs sauvages et papillons.

Juillet 2014

You can visit our organic garden every Sunday morning during June and July, 9am until 1pm.

There is a restaurant in the village (Souyri 0565299300) or you can picinic at the Martinets (10 minutes walk). In the afternoon we suggest you visit Les Martinets du Lézert.

le Falgayrenq, La Bastide L’Eveque (D269 à côte des Martinets du Lézert)

The bees need your help

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

We need the bees for pollination. Nearly all fruits and vegetables depend on insects for pollination. No pollination no fruit

No honey bees, no honey

Insects are part of our diverse and wonderful planet

Insects need food, especially early and late in the year when there are less wild flowers. All heathers are wonderful for bees and there are some early flowering ones. Pulmonaria flowers very early and stays in flower a long time. Look at your garden, see if you can plant more perennials and shrubs specifically attractive to insects. Many annuals are loved by insects, sow some hardy ones as soon as the weather is suitable. Marigolds, shirley poppies and cornflowers and then later on when it is warmer Zinnias and Cosmos. If you have some spare ground sow a flower mix.

If you have some spare time make up an insect hotel. This will give your solitary bees somewhere to hibernate, next winter. You can buy them, but much more fun to make your own. Goggle insect hotel for some ideas

This is something everyone can do, starting now

Asiatic hornets (Frelon Asiatique) are gradually spreading and they kill and eat bees, destroying whole hives. You can spot the nest during the winter months, less easy when the leaves are on the trees. We had one on the other side of the stream, directly opposite the bee hive. Normally near some kind of water, these nests are very large and round, high up in the tree. You might think it is a bird’s nest, but look closely and you will see it is completely round. There is not a lot you can do with a nest found at this time of year as the hornets have left. A nest found in the spring and summer is likely to be active, and you should notify your Mairie. Different departments have different policies for their destruction. In the meantime, you need to make some traps. Use some of those empty plastic milk bottles you keep throwing out. In the early spring hornet queens are vulnerable and can be caught in this kind of trap.


Model of simple trap for the queens of asiatic hornet to hang up from the 15th of february to the 15th of april or in autumn from the 15th of october to the end of november

Cut a plastic bottle about 3/4 up-transparent is good but you can use milk bottles-Cut a slot 7mm wide in bottle top-

put top half upside down in bottom half- You can use the bottom of another bottle to keep the rain off-

Heat a wire (it makes a clean hole) and push through the plastic to make a handle-

Put some beer in it or blackcurrant sirop and hang up


Trap for Frelon Asiatique

Sunday, January 13th, 2013