SoS: A Surprise, Bugs, Lichen and an Experiment

Another great week in the garden! We’ve had plenty of rain as well as warm sunny spells so seeds and vegetables are off to a good start. As I posted in ‘My Garden in Bloom – February‘ I am amazed by the number of cacti and succulents in bloom and it looks as if this will continue into March. Along with the Freesia, Daffodils and Jasmin our terrace is ablaze with colour.

1. Cold frame – an Unexpected Surprise

My old plastic cloches, after 15 years of service, are now end of life and we were looking to buy more. Imagine my delight when I drove past the local communal bins and discovered two aluminum window frames complete with glass! Needless to say the car was reversed, frames inspected and after some discussion we loaded our bounty in the boot. OH was straight up the local builders’ yard that afternoon to buy wood and the first cold frame was born. It is 50 x 100cm so the perfect size for my current batch of seedlings. What a lovely surprise OH made one of them so quickly!

The second frame will follow shortly.

My new cold frame
My new cold frame

The timber still needs to be painted but can wait until it is dry.

2. Growing Spinach in Containers – an Experiment

Growing spinach in containers
Growing spinach in containers

As  the raised vegetable bed is now full and there are still peppers, tomatoes and okra to plant, I decided to attempt to grow spinach in a large container. I only want it to add to salad so hopefully this container should provide enough leaves.

3. Insects

I was delighted to see this little ladybird has taken up residence on my rose tree.

Ladybird on Rose
Ladybird on Rose

I’ve never seen one of these before. The picture is fuzzy because I did not know if it jumped like a cricket so there was camera wobble. Any idea what it is? Friend or foe?

Unidentified insect
Unidentified insect

4. Love at First Sight

I saw this plant (Euphorbia milii) and it was love at first sight because I love quirky plants. The next time I can get to a decent garden centre I am going to buy one.

Euphorbia milii
Euphorbia milii

Lichen – Good or Bad?

The jury is still out…

Lichen
Lichen

I’m told lichen in the garden is good because it means the air is pure.

Lichen closeup
Lichen closeup

However, any shrubs or trees where the lichen has attached itself to in our garden are dying so I’m not convinced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen

Succulent Gardens in Pots

I love creating succulent gardens in pots. I knew there was some reason WHY I take so many succulent cuttings.

Succulent display
Succulent display

That’s my gardening six for this Saturday. Why not pop over to the Propagator’s blog to check out other gardens.

32 thoughts on “SoS: A Surprise, Bugs, Lichen and an Experiment

Add yours

  1. Lichen is great! I love it, it make me think of ancient lands and legends. Love the cold frames, well spotted, and well done for having an OH who can make things. Can you send him over to me when you’ve finished with him. The succulents make a wonderful display, lovely. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an arborist, I am sometimes questioned about lichens. They really are harmless to the trees that they live on. However, trees that are distressed happen to sustain more lichens than healthier trees, both because the do not exfoliate as much, and also because they are less densely foliated, so allow more sunlight through to sustain the lichens.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No, the lichen do not make the problem any worse. They just happen to proliferate on distressed trees. They get more sunlight on distressed trees that are less densely foliated; and they are exfoliated less on trees that do not shed much bard because their growth in inhibited. For example. a healthy apple tree is typically adorned with plenty of lichens, but not as many as a distressed tree. The healthy tree is actively growing and exfoliating bark. A distressed tree does not shed much bark at all, so gets overrun with lichens. However, the lichens are not detrimental to the health of the trees.

        Like

  3. What a beautiful coldframe you have built! It’s always a pleasure to look at the communal bins. Sometimes there are good surprises …
    About the lichen, I would have said like Tony: It’s often old trees and shrubs, with a lack of light that attract lichens on the branches. Nobody knows if the same tree would have survived without lichen. Generally, I brush the branches / stems to remove a little once in a while.
    Last thing, seeing the amount of spinach seeds you have sown, I’m sure your pot will be full! Look forward to seeing the leaves overflowing all around but it will be great! (water regularly though)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am chuffed to bits with the cold frame. I am lucky the OH is clever like that and has now caught the gardening bug 🙂

      Thinking about the lichen, it does seem to be more prolific on my melaleuca trees where the branches do not receive much light. Does it actually feed off the host?

      I’d not got a clue how many seeds I was meant to plant (the instructions indicated several per hole) but as I only want the young leaves and will not harvest the complete crop in one go, I thought I’d stuff the pot to bursting like I do with the lettuce.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sow them like radishes so in your case the pot will be well filled but it’s good. Especially if you have losses because of slugs.
        About the lichen, the opinions are really divided. More than feeding on the tree, it takes advantage of its weaknesses I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I responded to your comment on Mr Prop’s blog before I got here so agree with Tony and Fred. Lichen won’t cause any damage to a healthy tree but their profusion on a single plant – tree or shrub – could indicate a pre-existing problem with the host. It’s hard to say whether your longhorn beetle is a friend or foe. Well there are way over 25,000 different species. Lots are harmless. Many can be in-between, causing some damage but not to the extent that you need to worry about them at all. Some can be a real problem. It might be worth checking out any species which are common in your neck of the woods to see if you have a match.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joh, Ah…my uninvited guest is a long horn beetle! That’s a good start for further research, thank you.

      Good point about the lichen. I will go and check the lichen on my plants… and remove if the plant is stressed by another problem.

      Like

  5. Lichen is interesting, in small doses! There’s a forest, or at least it seems like a forest, it’s a huge group of bare trees, off I5 in Southern Oregon that is nothing but lichen. It’s so ugly. I never see leaves on the trees, just a sickly color lichen.

    Nice use of the old windows! When I had my windows replaced it never occurred to me to keep them. Not for garden use, nor for the recycle value in the aluminum! I lost out on those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I never see leaves on the trees, just a sickly color lichen.”
      Yes, that’s what concerns me 🙂

      I’t a real shame you never thought about upcycling your windows or at least getting their alu scrap value.

      Like

  6. Your garden is beautiful! Very creative. And I always thought ladybug, not ladybird. Maybe both is it right?

    Lastly, I’ll vote, foe. Any unidentified insect especially cockroach look-a-like. Shudder.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carole, your garden update is fantastic. I love this plant — Euphorbia milii. Hadn’t seen it before. Thank you for sharing the photo, it’s beautiful. ❤

    Have a wonderful rest of your weekend. Hope that your knee is healing and you are doing well.
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Euphorbia is gorgeous, though extremely prickly! I threw away some windows with glass – actually one fell over and the glass broke, but if I was handy with a drill and saw …. oh, well. Seed sowing isn’t one of my talents, but I do get envious watching all the rest of you sowing madly!

    Like

Leave a Reply to carrotsandcalendula Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: