Friday, 14 August 2015

Death in the Greenhouse

We had guests the other day and a rather comprehensive clear-up in advance of their arrival. This included our greenhouse/conservatory and you can see one of the consequences above. This sad little graveyard was originally scattered around under various chairs and tables. The presence of a decomposed Orange Tip, a butterfly not on the wing for a couple of months almost, shows how long it is since I last trundled around among the pot plants with a Hoover.

I guess the heat and lack of nectaring plants does for them. Although cool at night, it's noteworthy how very hot any glazed building in the UK can become after only a short period of direct sunlight. When I was a young journalist living in a rented flat and thrifty with the heating, I decided that the best two ways of warming up were visiting the local botanical gardens greenhouses and/or enrolling in a life drawing class.

Having said that, the little Carnation Tortrix, Cacoecimorpha pronubana, absolutely thrives in our greenhouse. I always disturb a few when I potter about in there during the summer months. Maybe other species will become hardier if our summers continue as benign as this one is proving. I was certainly encouraged - and cheered up in a traffic jam - by seeing this blaze of Oleander in London's Lea Bridge Road on a granddaughter-tending visit. I thought these were strictly greenhouse plants. Maybe my lifelong dream of seeing an Oleander Hawk moth in the UK will come true one day.

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