This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Things that Invade

Things that invade the garden... starting with the creepy crawlies (and then moving to plants)! 

Left and Below: The wormy culprits doing damage to my apple tree. I know nothing about worms / caterpillars but don't these three look different?  I don't use any chemicals on the apple tree so I check it every few days and hopefully I'm getting the worms removed before they eat or damage the flower buds.
This photo shows a kind of cacoon in the middle of the photo. It involves the flower bud being stuck together. This is where the black worm lives. The green worms seem to hatch differently than the black worms. The green worms seem to be stuck between two leaves or a leaf folded over, rather than buds.
Worm inside a bud.
I've taken loads of worm / caterpillar photos - no idea why. I've picked off about 20 or so.
I just hope I get a good apple harvest by picking them off!

Other things that invade in the garden...
1. Crocosmia and Lucifer-type plants are on my invasive list. The bulbs multiply into bigger and bigger grassy clumps over the years and the bulbs can be quite difficult to dig out.
2. Vinca Minor Argenteovariegata (top arrow and close up below) - quite an invasive spreader but in the right place can be a useful plant for ground cover.
3. Honesty - I do like honesty but this year I'm seeing how it can push out other plants a bit.
Vinca Minor Argenteovariegata
Is this a type of Euphorbia? 
It appeared in the garden one day, and it's now popping up everywhere as per the photos below.
Above: Ajuja Bugle - creeps and creeps. I remove it and it creeps back where I don't want it. On the plus side, the bees like it.
Black Mondo Grass - I bought three tiny bits of root at a plant sale years ago and now I could supply a nursery! It must like the dry conditions where it's growing as it spreads like crazy. Difficult to remove.
Bugle and black mondo creeping in on my Armeria maritime / sea thrift.
One of the biggest creeper of them all - the dandelion. I read on a fellow blogger's post that one plant can produce approx 2,000 seeds per year. Wow!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Our black grass is being beaten into submission by laminum! As for the euphorbia lookalike - have you a similar variety planted somewhere as some weeds are related to euphorbias. I'm very wary of them as a neighbour ended up at A&E with a badly swollen eye after cutting back a euphorbia. After that he got rid!

  2. I am a new follower of your blog and am truly loving what I have read so fare. I is so wonderful to be able to find other gardeners all over the world to learn and share with! I will leave my blog address and if you ever get time please feel free to stop in and add your two cents! I can't wait to read more here!

  3. I too have noticed my honesty spreading far and wide this year. I don't really mind though, I really like it as it adds so much interest to the garden. The seed heads are just starting to appear now.

  4. Those euphorbia looking plants look like a weed we have here, but it doesn't have the red stems. I think maybe worms are worse than weeds, though!

  5. I too have problems with crocosmia and vinca. I don't mind the honesty, it's been blooming this year when nothing else was flowering.
    You've got me worried about the black mondo grass though. I've grown it for years in dense shade, and it's not spread much at all. But I was forced to move it last year, and it's now in a sunny border. Oops.