One of our first jobs this autumn is to deal with the box hedge, it is brown and leafless after the barrage of attack it has received from the box hedge caterpillar this year. It provides us with a real conundrum because now in the middle of October we can see healthy green shoots appearing on the main branches. The risk we have is that by leaving the box hedge in we will only go through the whole process again. The hedge may recover a bit, I doubt to its former glory, and then the over-wintering pupae start the cycle all again.
Here is the Topiary now!
You can see from the pictures above that the effect of this caterpillar has been devastating to the plant. We have to take some action to ensure the surroundings near the pool are protected. We do have many box plants at the farmhouse, some small and part of a mixed hedge and some much larger. Sadly this blight has made it clear just how much box we do have! I think the best approach is to remove where the environment calls for it and to leave and take a "see how it goes" approach where it is not so prominent. We can hopefully then "hedge" our bets!!!
The inflatables somehow sounds like a Disney movie yet to be made and the picture below shows the "guys" that have visited our pool this summer! Blown up to their best one can only imagine the fun that has been had bobbing around...under careful supervision! These plastic floats have been left by their owners, no doubt too heavy to pack into the suitcase for the plane and thus by the end of the season we have a riot of colour and shape... and we just had to take some pictures!
Trying to get these together for the photo was not easy, herding cats comes to mind! I had the pool net in hand and pushed them all to the end of the pool..by the time I had dashed to pick up the camera the pump system was guiding them to the other end...anyway here is a less successful second shot as some of them had had chance to escape the picture by then!
As you can see in the picture the shadows are getting longer. We have kept the pool open as the weather has been beautiful. It is the middle of October and we have temperatures in the mid twenties, 25 degrees C. The Pool House Project is underway, we are aiming to give it a bit of a refurbishment ready for next season. It is a great space with a BBQ and large dining table, in all essence it is an outdoor kitchen. I'll keep you posted on the developments!