The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Wallflower ladybirds

ladybirds on wallflowersI was amazed to see that my wallflowers had tiny red buds three days ago. But on closer inspection the buds turned out to be a group of ladybirds huddled together amongst the leaves. I was delighted. These little beetles are valuable. Felling a bit like a younger Silas Marner I did a spot check of all ladybirds clinging to our wallflowers. There were twenty six. Worth £14.99+ if I had bought them from a ladybird farm. But leaving cash aside, ladybirds stop aphids being too much of a problem in our garden.

I drove off to work feeling smug and then the snow started to fall. The snow was light but constant. I fretted. Why hadn’t I protected the ladybird convention. There was a large terracotta pot to hand. More and more snow fell. It was frosty when I returned home after dark, I didn’t have the heart to check the ladybirds although I secretly thought that they had probably died.

This morning I ventured out to take a peek. These are well insulated beetles!

I have moved the pot onto the half barrel of wallflowers so that any passing ladybird can creep in for a bit of protection. There is a half finished ladybird hotel in the shed. This is just a pile of six inch bamboo canes at the moment but if I put them into the pot I will have a new ladybird hotel.


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