By Victoria Plum
Recently, the wonderful David Attenborough, when asked by a commentator what the average person could do in the course of their life to help avert climate change, replied “do not waste”: I often think of this, particularly in the garden.
I came out of hospital a few weeks ago (broken hip: mending well now, thank goodness) with compression stockings on.
After a few days they were driving me mad – tight and itchy. These are testing things to shift at the best of times; even the nurses struggle, and my husband, having just had open heart surgery, did not have the strength.
I couldn’t reach them because, as those of you who have had a new hip will know, you must not bend in the way that you really need to. So, I had to ask Paul to cut them off in the middle of the night with sharp scissors.
I couldn’t just throw the stockings away, so I have put them in my gardening bucket to use as tree or staking ties, as the fabric is very strong and stretchy.
I have an endless supply of used plastic saucers, lids and supermarket trays to put under plants and seedlings in pots to preserve that precious material – water. And my next project also concerns water: a wildlife pond.
We have an old water storage vessel (pictured above); it’s some sort of plastic. I am sawing the top section off, keeping the lower part, which will make a splendid shallow pond, with very little effort, and just one hole to block up.
I hope to install this in a few weeks, and will show you photos through the year as it settles in.
While clearing overgrown rushes in another pond, in preparation for this new pond, I saw a pretty, bright red beetle.
I took it indoors to identify it as, although I thought it was a lily beetle, I was surprised to see it in that place, nowhere near my lilies and so early in the year (26 February).
So, yes, it was a lily beetle, I even heard it squeak its alarm call in my hand; it won’t squeak any more.
Last year I bought a big diary to keep records in, and I see that the fritillaries were showing well last year just as they are this year, but no sign of lily beetle till a bit later in the year.