The end of another year and how quickly it has gone.

After all the rains we have had we are now enjoying the benefits but so are all the creatures out there enjoying our delicious foliage and flowers.

The humidity has been fairly high so with this will come Red Spider Mite.

Rose Beetles will be creating lacy patterns in juicy leaves.
They do not eat flowers but the leaves. The only natural way to handle this is to place a bright light over the plants that they are busy with and place a bucket half filled with water beneath the light. They will fly up to the light and then fall into the bucket of water and drown. I know there are toxic chemicals to make the leaves of the roses (or plants) unpalatable.
At least drowning will not affect the environment.

Mildew also comes with the rain and humidity.
To treat Mildew naturally you can use a mixture of Oleum and Bicarbonate of Soda or Skimmed milk and spray onto the plant.

To treat Red Spider mite you can spray the underside of leaves with plain water as they hate water or add a sugar solution to the water and this will get rid of the red spider. Remember to spray under the leaves as this is where they live.

An interesting book to buy (lovely Christmas gift) which is a guide to an environmentally responsible gardening and great ways to combat the ‘go-go’s’ in your garden is :
THE GARDEN GUARDIAN’S
by Johan Gerber ISBN : 0-9584785-5-4

There are some wonderful Christmas presents that can be given to Garden lovers.

• Gift voucher from a nursery will allow the recipient to choose their own gift.

• Book voucher from a good book shop

• Buy some pretty pots, put some potting soil in and plant up something from your own garden. I received a tomato plant from a client/friend that she had grown herself with a pretty Christmas card.

• I always suggest packets of mixed seeds, veggies and flowers, wrapped in pretty paper with ribbon. A fairly inexpensive gift which will encourage the recipient to plant directly.

• A pretty garden hat, gloves or apron.

• Garden lanterns (with perfumed candles)

• Wrought iron brackets to hang pots, filled with Geraniums.

• Old fashioned watering can with a fine rose spray.

• Rain gauge.

• Good pair of secateurs

• Garden bench painted a soft green or blue

• For a special friend – 3 lovely roses that you know would make your friend happy and remember you for years to come. I find this has always been a lovely gift which people enjoy.

• Of course, there are some wonderful Orchids.

• Take your friend for tea and cake and then give them a lovely hand made Christmas card with pressed flowers from your own garden.

Enjoy the season!