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Leafcurl – Sunday 9th June, 2024

We have had a busy weekend in the garden. It was open on Saturday till 2pm when there was a booking for a children’s party. Quite a few people dropped in on their way round the Forest Gate Garden Trail, which was west of Woodgrange Road on that day, with ten gardens open. We gave out maps and sold some tickets for the trail. On the Sunday, it was the turn of east of Woodgrange with eight gardens open. The day ended with a celebration with pizza and wine in the community garden for all those involved in Forest Gate Garden Trail.

The garden is full of life and colourful, these late spring day. Though, I miss ladybirds, having seen very few this year, though quite a few bumble bees. There’s still lots of tadpoles in our pond. These are the ones that will not mature this year. If they survive the winter, most should mature in the spring. I have not seen any tadpoles with back legs, the most obvious sign of development into froglets, but surely some will have developed and left the pond all ready, leaving behind those that have stayed as tadpoles.

There’s lots of backswimmers in the pond and a few graceful pond skaters. The water lilies are just flowering. I see no sign in the bulrush of its stem bearing the characteristic sausage of female flowers. Will it come quickly or not at all?

The wildflower bed is aglow and very popular. There are many red poppies, yellow California ones too, as well scentless mayweed, white campion, buttercups, corn marigolds, nipplewort and hedge mustard. Within the bed is a pear tree with tiny pears. I note other tiny pears and apples about the garden, that will ripen in late August.

The acanthus are close to flowering, the stems tall and stately, the leaves, though, suffering snail damage. There are hundreds of green helicopters up in the sycamore tree, with many fallen. Nearby the elder is still in flower, a great crop itching to be made into elderflower champagne. Though, we’ll get the purple elderberries, so not so bad.

In a mid raised bed, we have a beautiful cluster of deep purple lavender, with the bonus of its scent. Growing by it, we have purple toadflax, almost merging with the lavender, and lychnis with its reddish purple flowers, like an ad for lipstick. The same bed has globe thistles. As yet, they are small and green. It will be a couple of weeks before they are blue planets in a weird solar system. A few yards away, there’s a plum tree with clusters of plums, still green, but will ripen in the next week or so. Who will get the fruit? The birds or children? In the Fothergill beds, the geums are hanging on, with poppies and marigolds and penstemons taking over. Just behind is the buddleia tunnel suffering from leaf curl, the leaves blotchy and crinkled. I look closely at the leaves. There is a tiny mite under many of the affected leaves, though I suspects aphids. I shall watch our buddleia carefully to see which is the culprit. If either, the damage will likely continue over the warmer months and will need a cold winter, with frost, for the plant to grow cleanly next year, free of the pest.

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