September 2016 garden diary


Top tip: this is a good time to use lawn weedkiller. All those dandelion parachutes that germinated during the summer will be developing their strength before Winter sets in – and will get established very quickly next Spring. Zap them now and stop them in their tracks. But be sure to give the weedkiller bottle a good shake; otherwise the mixture may be too powerful and you may end up killing grass as well as weeds!


Our orchids are resting at the moment, near the kitchen windowsill. They need to be watered once a week – preferably with rainwater, though that’s not essential. The key thing is to keep them damp; but not soggy; so, if using tap water, for instance, let the water run right through the pot.

I discovered some caterpillars on a potted rose. The rose is a fairly nondescript specimen, occasionally producing smallish, pale white blossoms. I’ll persevere, though, and see what happens. I’m going to prune it soon, but in the meantime I’ve discovered that some caterpillars have been chomping away at quite a few of the leaves (doing some pruning for me …). My immediate thought was to pick them off and dispose of them; but then I became curious as to what species they were. So I let them live … and did a bit of Googling to try to identify them.



moth3It turns out they’re caterpillars of the Figure of Eight moth (Diloba caeruleocephala). They fly in late September … which is precisely what seems to have happened since I took these pictures at the beginning of the month. The Figure of Eight moth itself is distinguished by what looks like a number eight on its wings. Unfortunately I missed any in-between stage. Did they weave a cocoon, like butterflies do? I don’t know. They seemed to suddenly disappear. Perhaps they dropped to the ground?

A good excuse for some further research. Apparently there are no less than 2,400 species of moth in Britain, a figure that I found rather amazing …

Verbena Bonariensis – single specimen of one of Lynn’s favourite flowers (hopefully, lots more to come!)

Sedum Spectabile

Ornamental grassMiscanthus Abundance

Mint – bumblebee hard at work, preparing for Winter

Who’s been eating our Cactus?





Image credits:
Dandelion – by Greg Hume (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Figure of Eight moth – by Dumi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commonsari


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