Sunday, 9 June 2013

Chafers everywhere; rejoice or cry?

Sunday morning 9th June and the grass bank above the house, a chunk of about 20m x 10m, was popping out chafers. I sat down amongst them, as they crawled up stems from which to launch themselves. One was on my denim leg. At first I thought it was damaged or deformed with legs on just one of its sides, but then its legs sprung into place on the other side and off it flew. Such a beautiful sight, and to me the big surprise was the absence of hungry birds swooping in for a seasonal feast.

I looked up chafers on the web ... ‘Chafer larvae attack the roots of lawns and some ornamental plants, fruit and vegetables, while adult chafers feed on the leaves of a range of different shrubs, plants and immature deciduous trees.’ Should I be worried? I suspect not but maybe that’s another question for me to take to the Wildlife Gardeners Question Time at the Ugly House next Saturday 15th June.

Local author and ‘eco gardening’ expert, John Walker, will be on the panel and signing copies of his book ‘How to create an Eco Garden – practical guide to greener, planet-friendly gardening’. Also on the panel will be Jo Thomas, a horticultural specialist who has worked at Kew Gardens, Chelsea Physic Garden and the Eden Project.

During the day, which runs from 10am until 4pm there will be opportunities to build portable bee homes, join a guided walk through the Tŷ Hyll gardens and to buy from the well stocked plant stall. The tea room will be open all day providing excellent scones and honey cake. There will be a range of activities for children including games, a bee quiz and a bee photo challenge plus of course face painting.

This event is being laid on by the Snowdonia Society’s Friends of Tŷ Hyll and the North Wales Wildlife Gardening Project. For more information you can contact Margaret Thomas on 01690 710711.

As for the chafers, this is what they looked like:

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