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Scilla siberica, Asparagaceae

Spring has officially sprung, we went from snow to 17°C in less than a week and I finally had a chance to spend most of my weekend hiking and taking photographs in the sun. At my local park the latest early-flowering geophyte to put up a show is the electric-blue Siberian squill, native to south-western Russia, the Caucasus and Turkey. True blue is always such a striking colour to see in nature, and this bulbous perennial tends to create beautiful large colonies on the woodland floor. Remember, positioning wisely the bulbs and corms around trees will reward you not only with prolonged flowering and ornamental interest, but also consistent and protracted cover to slow down grasses from taking over, which could reduce the tree’s vigour and yeld.

This is not the first Scilla I described, last month I wrote about the Mishchenko squill, a species bearing larger, white flowers with blue veins I saw at the RBG in Edinburgh. 

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Finally found a hellebore the other day! My favorite flowers are hellebores. Theres a folklore that says if you spread the powdered root of hellebores on the floor and step on it, you become invisible. Also, they used to be used to make poison for arrow tips.
The more ya know. 💫

If you ever want to attract bees and hummingbirds into your garden, let a few of your broccoli plants bolt. I seriously spent so much time tending to flowers that attract pollinators, and everyone is going nuts over the broccoli flowers instead. You can hear the sound of the masses of bees several feet before you are close enough to see them, and the hummingbirds spend all day bouncing between the broccoli, salvia and zinnias. Crazy. I will most definitely do this every year.

White oil aka MEALYBUG DEATH SPRAY

(also works on scale insects, spider mites, and other small sap-sucking insects)

This is my go-to DIY pesticide, and it really works for persistent mealybug/scale insect colonies…just…keep spraying…everyday… and in a week or two all the insects should be dead 💀

Ingredients:
4 parts vegetable oil
1 part dishwashing liquid (non-bleach!)

Pour into container and shake well until it turns white (as in photo)

To use:
Mix approx one tablespoon to one litre of water in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray onto insects. Shake well before every use !

It works by coating the insect with a thin film of oil/soap so they suffocate, so you have to make sure that it covers all insects thoroughly.

Caution:
Don’t use when temperatures will be above 32 deg c in the shade. Don’t spray just before your plants will be in harsh direct sun. Don’t spray directly before/after watering as it’s less effective (In fact if I’m spraying this on I won’t water for a couple days before and after)

For very bad infestations, I’ll take the plant out of the pot and remove as much soil as I can, and spray the entire plant (roots and all) everyday, while keeping it in the shade. Once I’m sure there’s no more insects or eggs I’ll pot the plant back up :)

If anyone has other DIY pest control methods, do let me know !

  • some people: talk nicely to your plants! play classical music for them! treat them gently!
  • me: what the fuck you spiny little shithead
  • me: *plays the x-files theme on repeat*
  • me: enjoy your liquified fish guts, assholes
  • me: *pruning* oh i'm sorry was that your leg? *prunes some more* oops was that your OTHER leg?