Friday, May 27, 2016

This Week in the Garden: Winter is Coming...

It is the last weekend of autumn, and after three weeks of straight rain with a side of hail and thunder it definitely feels like our cool wet winter has arrived. My poor garden is soggy and suffering, and despite our sloped aspect and stepped gardens, I am even starting to see a few drowning casualties.  I fear that my rosemary bush may never recover.  As with our usual winter woes, battling fungus and disease is always difficult this time of year. Tips for maintaining a healthy wet-weather garden are most welcome! 

As an upside to all that green gardening effort through our recent rampant inspect season, we have an abundance of praying mantids (yep...had to look up the correct plural for that) lurking about the garden and they are BIG!  Being a curious international gardener, I snapped a few photos and decided to do a little research on encouraging my beneficial mantids, thinking that these were garden friends. Right? The answer is not simple.  I discovered that the native New Zealand mantis is being pushed out by an invasive South African mantis (read more here) in a battle that goes beyond territory. Apparently the Kiwi males like to try and mate with the South African females, but the South African females (unlike the Kiwis) eat them. Yikes - loose loose for the poor Kiwi mantids!  The narrow waist, hammer-head, and lack of blue leg spotting flags this model mantis as a South African, and by the belly, female. I hope she didn't snack on any of my local garden helpers.  Yet another international gardening lesson for me.

What's happening in and around your garden this week?  Whatever your garden/green news, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or post us a message on the GiRL Facebook page I look forward to sharing our garden with you as it grows.


  1. Is the mantis hunting the green thing (insect?) on the top left branch?

    1. Hi Janet! You have a very keen eye. :) The green thing is indeed an insect - a leafhopper. I'm not sure whether the mantis was hunting, but very likely.


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