Echange de graines

February 7th, 2018

Echange de graines

Le 25 Février de 15h à 17h

Espace Paul Rouziès

La Bastide L’Evêque

Participation de 2€ pour les mains vides

Star plant October

November 11th, 2017

Mahonia x media Charity

Star plant November

November 8th, 2017

No idea of the name of this Chrysanthemum, but it was given to us by Mme Cournede at Teulières:

Star plant August

August 6th, 2017

Aster x frikartii Monch starts flowering in July and will now continue flowering well into the autumn

Invasion of the box tree caterpillar

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.

Star plant March

March 24th, 2017

Helleborus orientalis is happy in our garden, it flowers for several months. Equally as good are Helleborus argutifolius and foetidus

Star plant February

February 14th, 2017

Our first real signs of spring

Star plant January

January 23rd, 2017

January and despite the cold, -11C Nandina domestica is a star. Lots of new cultivars, some have redder foilage, but I still prefer the elegance of the original.

Les poules

February 14th, 2016

Les poules dans le potager

Le potager est presque vide pendant l’hiver donc c’est le bon moment pour introduire quelques poules. Elles nettoieront le terrain et aussi nous espérons nous débarrasseront des insectes nuisibles qui hivernent dans le sol. Cette année nous avons eu des problèmes avec la mineuse du poireau et la mineuse de la tomate.

Nous aurions aimé les laisser libres d’aller dans tout le potager avec une clôture pour les empêcher d’aller dans le jardin d’agrément. Nous avons essayé cela mais nous avons perdu deux poules à cause du renard ou plus probablement un chien de chasse perdu et affamé car c’était en plein jour.

Nous avons maintenant un enclos fermé de 5m X 2 m qui se démonte et que nous déplaçons.

Quand nous sommes dans le jardin nous utilisons aussi la clôture.DSC03210


February 14th, 2016

Chickens in the vegetable garden

The vegetable garden is fairly empty during the winter period, so it is an ideal time to introduce a few chickens. They will clear any remaining crops and hopefully gobble up any overwintering pests, hibernating in the soil. For the last few years we have had problems with allium leaf miner (leeks) and a tomato caterpillar, which would seem to overwinter in the soil. I am hoping the chickens will gobble up these pests and reduce the problem for next year.

Ideally I would like the chickens to roam freely in a large space and we did try a small movable house surrounded by metre high roll up fencing. We thought to confine them to the vegetable garden in the area which was free from overwintering crops. This lasted all of 3 days as something jumped the fence, killed one chicken and ran off with another. We originally thought it was a fox, but as the ducks freely roam across the meadow and into the woods we now think it must have been a hungry hunting dog.

Plan B is now in operation. The same moveable house but with a 5 metre run. When we are in the garden we can let them out into a larger area using the roll up fencing. Thanks to the hard work of my husband we now have a sturdy, elegant chicken run. It would be too heavy to move in one piece, so the 4 sides come apart. It should take us about an hour to take it down and move to another position. At times when we are not in the garden, we know that the chickens are safe from any roaming dogs or foxes.DSC03210