Weekend Work: Stay inside, keep warm, spin dreams
Saturday 27 December 2008
What to do
The week between Christmas and the New Year is a strange one. So stay inside, keep warm, spin dreams. Masochists can fret over the lists produced every year by the Royal Horticultural Society, inventories of the top 10 garden pests. For the seventh year running, slugs and snails come top of the list. In our skewed world, cats kill the birds that should be eating the slugs and snails. Cars squash the hedgehogs, another natural predator. The harlequin ladybird (a new entry) takes second place and vine weevils, which were number two pest five years ago, have dropped to number three. They are most destructive at the larval stage, when they eat the roots of young plants, especially those in pots. Rabbits are easier to see, more difficult to deter. Number eight in the most recent list, they were number three just five years ago. Secure netting, buried in the ground, is the only way to keep them off your veg patch.
Ants and cushion scale insects take spots four and five, followed by the rosemary beetle, the berberis sawfly (both new entries) and the lily beetle at number nine. These replace the sap feeding soft scale insect, the woolly aphid that produces fluffy white colonies on the trunks of apple and pear trees and the red spider mite, scourge of greenhouses, all of which appeared in the list five years ago. Cypress aphid is still there (number 10 this year), but I look upon it as a godsend rather than a pest as it defoliates and eventually kills hedges of hideous Leyland cypress. Long may it last on the list.
What to buy
The staggering delights of the Lindley Library in London include its collection of botanical drawings, paintings and prints – about 28,000 of them. A hundred or so of these treasures are now available on-line to be printed on paper or canvas, at prices ranging from £15 to £280. To order, go to rhsprints.co.uk
Life & Style blogs
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
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