Sunday, 11 July 2010

Ladybird Alert !

so there I was weeding the artichokes and thinking to myself, 'cor I've not seen many ladybirds this year' when I spotted one quickly followed by another ....

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I managed to count:
2 spot red x 7
18 or 20 spot orange x 3
4 spot black x 3
baby ladybirds x 4
and a monster black one with red 'eyes' x 1

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This is the monster one - it is 2-3 times the size of a normal ladybird ... I need to google it and see if it's an invader

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it's painted eyes are quite dramatic:

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it was scuttling up and down the bit of plant it was on, but didn't look to be eating many aphids - the artichokes are covered in the them at the moment ... must make myself some garlic spray.

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I'm always on the look out for Harlequin ladybirds - this one also looks slightly different to the usual ones - it's head was a different shape ... more googling to do !

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This one looked like it had been sun bleached - it's spots fade away ...

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here's a ladybird lavae - gosh they are freaky

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even the flies are beautiful on my lottie :)

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I spent about three hours weeding everything today, still loads more to do. Ho-hum.

Hmm, this is either a Blue Lake (slightly skeptical) or a Gold Rush (looks more likely):

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Yippee purple beans ... my favourite !

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I have no idea what this is ! I thought it was a squash, but it's growing very 'bushy' ... oh well, lots of flowers, so I guess I'll know in a month or so. I wonder what happens to my labels ...

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Buckwheat in the greenhouse - it's as tall as me. So pretty and delicate:

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Lookie - my cucumber is still alive - hurrah ! No fruit yet, but lots of flowers. I'm almost hopeful for cucumber this season :)

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Well my tomatoes are not the tallest plants I've ever had, but they are looking nice and healthy and I have quite a lot of fruits set already. This is my one and only Vanessa:

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These are my yellow toms (I think !):

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Here's my Roma - my favourite :)

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Here are my borlotties;

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Here's my Crown Prince & Queensland Blue - they look really healthy and are romping away now ... must remember to give them some more chicken poo water ... yum !
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Newspaper Apples:

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My peppers are very small, but I can see flowers coming ... they need to get a move on, or they may miss the season. My melon is also very small, but finally has a flower appearing.

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Not sure what this little guy is - I need to get my moth book out - he was very attractive:

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Edit: google & my RSPB garden wildlife book think he may be a Skipper Butterfly ... any advance ?

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mmmm and finally ! Oh I love my icecream maker.

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We finished off the strawberry icecream yesterday just in time to make way for the raspberries ! and what better way to enjoy them, than raspberry & chocolate brownie cakes, with raspberry icecream and raspberry & strawberry coulis ... oh my. Yes, it's very good ... very very very good :P

We've also had plenty of courgettes for Nigella's courgette and chickpea pie, Artichokes, baby carrots (bit small yet), beetroots, tonnes of peas (soup in the fridge), garlic and baby potatoes ... yum. Makes it all worthwhile :)