• Kay

'The spectre of Box Tree Moth'

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Today the weather starts quite well, the wind has died down, thank goodness! I start pruning in our biggest border that runs along side our lowest wall in the Kitchen Garden.

This border was the first bit of purely ornamental planting that happened at Church Gardens, it was planted in 2015. It is not a pure herbaceous border, although it contains many herbaceous perennials that die down in Winter. I would describe it as a mixed border as it has a backbone of shrubs, and is under planted with many bulbs. It is 60m long and 3m wide and it is planted in six 10 m long repeating sections. Each section has two Buddlejas which require substantial pruning. There are also two Cornus' in each section and several Hydrangeas. There are also some herbaceous plants that have been allowed to remain standing for Winter interest, that now need to come down. The prunings from each 10 m section fill my giant barrow to overflowing.

I do smile at the sight of bags containing garden clippings at the side of the road waiting for the Council to come and collect them. I think one of my barrow loads would fill maybe 10, or 20 of these bags. Ironically the council have never supplied us with these bags, they don't empty our bins either...perhaps they know what they would be letting themselves in for. Thank goodness for compost heaps. I manage to finish half the border which fills 3 giant barrow loads. At this point the weather changes and I have to give an extra lesson to a pupil - Friday is not my normal teaching day. However, there is still time to come out again briefly before leaving for my rehearsal and in this short bit of time I plant a tray of tomatoes. This includes 5 each of Burpees Delicious, Costoluto Fiorentino, Diplom, Ailsa Craig, Country Taste, Lylia Cerisette, Yellow Delight, and Lidi.

Worryingly the National News and Gardeners Question Time are reporting on the RHS list of Top Ten Pests and Diseases. Box Tree Moth is mentioned repeatedly and their best solution seems to be 'to grow something else'. Not much help to me, with a large ornamental vegetable plot surrounded by an established box hedge. We had box tree moth last year and I go to check on my large supply of Box Tree Moth traps and remind myself of when to set them up ( Mid April), wish me luck!

On a more cheerful note, our first Camelia flower opened today and pruning the Buddlejas has fully revealed my Edgeworthias which are in full bloom and smell fantastic.

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