Rhododendron ponticum is just coming into flower at the moment. Hated by many because it is so invasive one cannot deny the beauty of it’s flowers. Introduced to England and Ireland in the 18th century it has escaped into the wild choking out all in it’s path. Every Summer grows of volunteers work at cutting it back, especially in Kerry where it has become a huge problem. Each plant sets thousands of viable seeds so it’s progress is speedy. It is also poisonous to animals.
Was delighted to see this Ladybird yesterday, first one this year. They are in serious decline because of pesticide use and habitat disturbance. One way to help Ladybirds is to leave a patch of Nettles in your garden. The Nettle Aphid is a fave food of Ladybirds emerging from hibernation, it is’nt a garden pest. Ladybirds are of course a great friend to the gardener, they will consume aphids, scale insects and mealy bugs. Many people consider them lucky and love to see them. My Mother’s name for them is God’s Cows, that’s what they were always called when she was a child.
The old cottage garden favourite Aquilega is in flower at the moment. Also known as Columbine or Granny’s Bonnet it’s flowers are short-lived but so pretty. It is easily grown from seed and self seeds readily.
The Victoria Plum has set lots of fruits again this year. It likes the heavy ground here. We also have a young Opal Plum tree which has set fruit for the first time. Once again it seems that working with Nature will provide abundance here in the Arigna valley.