Six on Saturday: Invasive Weed, Pine Needles, Mystery Muncher and Challenges …

It’s been a challenging week. Maybe I should have titled the post: Six Challenges

One of the solar Pestbye cat scarers I bought through Amazon Germany and delivered last week has died already! I reported it but as they are having a high volume of traffic it may be some time before I get a reply. I have a horrible feeling because we purchased a pair that both will need to be returned. The same thing happened with some solar lights a couple of years ago. We returned both and then they were out of stock.

My gnome has just reported we have two big holes in the newly raked bed.

The second challenge was to source seed compost without going inside a shop. Donned with mask and visor I eventually found some in a compost cage at a gardening drogeria in the next rural town. I did plant a few seeds in normal compost but that was too fibrous.

The third challenge was my seed order which I thought I’d placed a week ago. The website kept glitching, it wouldn’t accept my address. Fair enough. I contacted the company and they found my order in my virtual basket and placed it for me. It was only when the confirmation came through that I realised half the order was missing. That issue resolved and payment finally made through bank transfer I then noticed they had not included a house number. Sigh. I phoned and emailed and was assured it was okay and delivery would be Friday. I am not surprised the order did not arrive. It would not be so bad but to get free delivery I encouraged two friends to share the order.

1. Invasive Weed – Oxalis pes-caprae or Bermuda Buttercup

This is one weed you do not want in your garden. Swathes of bright yellow may look pretty in the wild but in the garden, no. (See Wild Wednesday ). Unless you dig deep and remove these little bulbs the plant will spread rapidly and the only way to remove is to dig up the garden bed.

Oxalis pes-caprae – Bermuda Buttercup - roots

The Bermuda Buttercup has already made inself at home in this rockery.

Oxalis pes-caprae – Bermuda Buttercup
Oxalis pes-caprae – Bermuda Buttercup - invasive weed

2. Who is the ‘Mystery Muncher’?

Mystery Muncher

There are no birds, slugs or snails so I can only assume there are some nasties lurking in the compost. Hence a rare trip outside the boundaries of our garden to a garden shop to buy seed compost. Any ideas what’s eating my courgette seedlings. I have already lost three plants.

3. Mint Challenges

Why does mint only grow where it is not supposed to? I have tried for years to grow mint in pots but with no success.

The mint I’d been growing in a bottle of water all winter I transferred to the herb bed. I don’t mind if it takes over I just want it to grow!

4. Pine Trees – Gardening Nightmare

The pine trees in our neighbours garden are a nightmare. Every time the wind blows it sheds needles, and if it’s not needles it’s yellow pollen-like dust and in January/February the deadly Processionary Caterpillars fall from their nests high in the trees.

Try removing pine needles from gravel.

5. Succulent Rockery

I finally finished weeding and removing as many pine needles from the bed as humanly possible.

Section by section, I am pleased with the result.

  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery
  • Succulent rockery

6. Repotting Hydrangea

This poor hydrangea defintely needed some TLC

That’s a wrap for this week. Why not join the Six on Saturday garden bloggers over at Mr. P’s gardening blog.

Related Posts:

Killer Caterpillars!

Wild Wednesday: Bermuda Buttercup

Six on Saturday


28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Invasive Weed, Pine Needles, Mystery Muncher and Challenges …

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  1. We have overhanging trees on our boundary too, not pine but lime, also v messy. A bit of a pain for sure. We pushed the neighbour to cut back the lower branches which helped a bit. Mint grows well for me in pots but in the shade, and likes it quite moist too. Portugal may be a bit dry for it but you could probably find a cool spot for it? Your succulent border is a great success!


  2. There’s a saying where I live in Southern Indiana that the only mint that will grow is mint you stole from someone else’s garden. Your comment about mint only growing where you don’t want it made me think of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is probably true, Amy! It certainly does not want to be ‘contained’ in pots. The mint that escaped from the bottom of the pot and took root in the stones is doing great while the mint in the pot always dies no matter how much I water it or how good or bad the soil is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like your succulent garden. You certainly have a wonderful collection of succulents. I am so pleased we don’t have those caterpillars! Hope you find the culprit who is eating your seedlings. I would guess it stays in the soil during the day and only comes out at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apart from the hard work to maintain the succulent bed, I am pleased with the result. I have a conveyoer belt of cuttings for the plants that dont survive. 🙂 I think you are right about the soil. It was a risk planting seedlings in this type of compost and I pay the price.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those pine trees do not seem to be big enough to be a major problem. I work many acres of ponderosa pines with trunks that are wider than five feet. They are so tall that whatever blows out of them lands quite a distance away. Of course, we get the mess from pines that are at the same distance in the opposite direction. I suppose I would be annoyed if such mess came from a neighbor’s garden.


    1. Pine trees here do not have thick trunks. They just grow very tall and spindly which means in time they become very unstable in high winds. These are right on our boundary and now top heavy. While the pine needles are annoying I am more concerned it is only a matter of time before they fall.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One year the caterpillars marched along the wall at the side of the house so I stood upwind (so any hairs blew away from me) and sprayed the caterpillars with hair spray to stop the hairs and then insecticide. I’ve not seen any recently, thank GOd!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m lucky because here I have a large black pine but the processionary caterpillars have not yet traveled further north of France. It’s a real pain to get rid of them. I have no idea who eats your courgette plants but maybe cover them with a cloche ? and you might see them grow up without damage 🤞


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