Gardening has many health benefits . It’s great for wildlife but also for the gardener…Just look at this chart.
Here is the caterpillar of the scarlet Tiger Moth. .
So let’s recollect…
You keep the herbal plant Green Alkanet (considered by many as weed as it is a opportunity plant who loves damp places).
You will find plenty of caterpillars there who will feed on their leaves as they contain more juices than other plants.In fact it will keep snails and Slugs also away from your other plants as they will preferably eat these. And if you have a healthy garden (and no cats) you will have plenty of birds, frogs, toads, lizards, rodents and hedgehogs etc.. visiting and keeping the insect, snail and slug population down.Yes they also eat some of the caterpillars but wild animals are not as stupid as human beings and would never eradicate a species from a area.Same as they eat a few pollinators, but not many, as they prefer unwanted insects.Unless it’s a particular bird species-but they then live usually in parts of the planet which has natively plenty of wild bees.In that case and of course as long as humans don’t mess up the cycle, they act as population regulators. Less insects, less birds or other insect feeding animals.More insects more birds or other insect feeding animals as they breed in regards if there is enough food around or not. Nature has her own balance.Humans are the only species who over breeds and acts against and not with nature.
Once the caterpillar raid is over the Alkanet will recover and the pollinator raid begins.The scarlet Tiger Moth caterpillar has now exchanged the outfit of a caterpillar with that of a beautiful moth and many will hang around to feed on the Alkanet. After the pollinators are gone you will have slugs and snails continuing to eat the leafs.A truly healthy circle where everything has its purpose and nothing ever gets too many of a kind or extinct as long as we humans keep our fingers out because our selfishness and egoic voice in our head is telling us how things should look like while we miss out to recognize and to enjoy the true beauty of nature..
Here are some images of the Scarlet Tiger Moth Caterpillar and his work as a natural weed controller :)..
Note the different stages of the Green Alkanet.
After they had raided these plants I transferred them to the other side (above)..
Scientists in Ireland have found that growing fungus inside barley helps the plants ward off disease. Brian Murphy, a botanist at Trinity College Dublin, has also shown that an inoculation of fungus allows plants to thrive in harsh conditions. The fungal treatment helped when the scientists made the plants suffer and exposed them to drought, stress, and disease.It helped all at once. 🙂
The plants treated with fungi had six times the survival rate as those without.
If this technology pans out, it could replace pesticides in some situations which would have in a long term, positve effects on the biodiversity.
Image: Endophytic fungi growing between tall fescue cells by Nick Hill
One of the most beautiful pollinators, a Scarlet Tiger Moth:
For these is also worth to keep the green Alkanet as their caterpillar loves to feed on them as they contain a lot of juice.In fact there is hardly any pollinator who doesn’t love the green Alkanet. Let them grow and you will see that it will be very busy around these flowers and that towards the end of summer, parts of this plant will die off which seems to come from ‘overuse’ of pollinators as I have found that alkanet’s in locations with less or no visitors seem to keep on thriving stronger and longer. I usually remove dead parts every now and then (if I have the time) or pull them out when all pollinators are gone.They will grow back in full strength the following year.In fact I have never found this plant to be a big problem if they are being pulled out once a years.And have even seen park rangers controlling them this way once a years when they take care of their wildflower sections…
Spring migration fills backyard enthusiasts with the greatest joy as they watch new arrivals scouting out the best places to forage, feed, rest and to nest.For the birds however it is the most physical stressful time of the year as they are constantly battling against unpredictable weather, predation and the energy robbing demand of molting and the unknown availabilty of food and water (not to mention their everforthgoing habitat loss via humans).
Gardeners but also cat keepers have a vitale role to play in supporting the avian migrants.Studies have found that yards, especially in urban and suburban areas, have a significant impact on the nesting syccess rate and abundance of birds…
Here are tips what ‘you’ can do to help:
Birds migrating (Photo: Wiki commons).
With a nice little article to read on how birds Migrate: http://infinitespider.com/birds-prepare-migrate/