Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

This may be the last ever post from me as I seem to have wandered into a mutant insect movie and am in danger of being eaten by a giant insect which Whiskas (god bless him) unearthed in the garden.

At first we thought he was flicking a frog about the garden, but on closer inspection (not too close; I didn’t fancy my face being  swallowed) it turned out to be the biggest goddam caterpillar that I’ve ever seen.

Apparently it’s something called a ‘Tobacco Horn Worm’ and is destined to transform into an even bigger ‘Sphinx Moth’ with a 5 inch wing span…jesus, that’s bigger than most of the birds in the garden.

Tobacco Horn Worm

Tobacco Horn Worm

Dont you think I was brave getting that close to it?

Don't you think I was brave getting that close to it?


Spider webs in parts of our garden are growing to gossamer city proportions. Normally that doesn’t bother me (except when I forget they’re there and find myself head deep in one, doing a passable impersonation of Frodo in The Return of The King); I think they can look rather beautiful, especially when the sun glints on them and they almost take on the appearance of a fairy palace.

I say almost because the illusion is clearly always ruined by the presence of a flesh crawling arachnid smack bang in the centre of the web, surrounded by a morbid suspended cemetery of things which had once been insects – or, in the case of our epic sized webs, maybe even animals.

The diminutive size of these eight legged architects is, thankfully, usually way out of proportion to the webs which they inhabit…except in the case of this fellow.

He/she is a newcomer to the garden and I can’t say I’m comfortable with his/her presence. As a rule, my arachnophobia increases in proportion to the size of the spider in front of me. Although I’m not overly scared of the seemingly stoned hippy spiders which hang about corners in the house doing nothing much all day, when I meet one of their cousins who is nearing the size of a small mouse, a klaxon goes off in my head and the numbskulls scream over the internal tannoy system “EVACUATE THE AREA, EVACUATE THE AREA…”

I haven’t a clue as to what species this is and whether it’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, or a wolf in wolf’s clothing, so if anyone can identify it, it would be a great help…oh, and don’t forget to include details of an antidote in case it bites me.

Around 210,000 people go missing in the UK every year. I don’t know how many of these disappear after ‘popping out to the shops’ to get some fags, milk, lager etc, but something occurred to me as we finally rescued a tiny lizard who’d been trapped in our bathroom for the last few weeks.

We’d assumed that he (it might have been a she – I don’t know how to tell) had fallen through the skylight and hadn’t been able to find their way out and, for the last few weeks, was living off the occasional spider underneath the towel chest.

We’d never been able to get close; every time the lizard emerged and we tried to ‘help’ it make its escape, it legged it back under the chest before we could catch it…until yesterday. This time, instead of heading for the chest, it ran into a corner and I was able to drop a sieve over it and take it to a better place; i.e. the garden.

However, as I released the lizard into its bright new world some doubts entered my head. Supposing he liked living in our bathroom? Suppose there was a Mrs lizard and two baby lizards waiting for him underneath the chest and he’d just popped out to ‘pick up’ a spider to for dinner? His disappearance would remain a mystery for ever to his family.

Maybe it’s no different with us humans. There could be invisible superior life forms looking down on poor souls living in poverty in inner city ghettos and one day, when some poor little sod pops out to the shops, the beings decide to rescue them and before said poor soul knows it, hey ho, they’ve been whisked off to a nicer place; Maybe Hay-on-Wye.

Who knows?

Be Ruthless

Posted: April 24, 2008 in Plants, Spain, Tenerife, Trees, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Orchid treesIt’s taken a long time for me to realise that on Tenerife, the northern parts anyway, the most effective way of having a beautifully lush garden here is to cut trees and shrubs right back to the bone every so often. The two orchid trees in this picture looked exactly the same three or four months ago, then I pruned the one on the left until there wasn’t a branch left on it, only five bare trunks; a skeleton of a tree. Now look at it, incredible. The speed at which plants grow is frightening. It’s no wonder that Tenerife was a botanists dream.