Observations of Wildlife in the Triplespan

admin Community, Sustainability

By Andrew and Megan Dobson

As gardeners, winter is a reliable test for our patience, however when the growing season commences, a different and more immediate form of patience can heap untold rewards on the determined practitioner.

At home in Wyoming, aphids bombarded our rose bushes. A preliminary hosing with water cut the infestation in half.

Then we waited two weeks… almost like clockwork… for the arrival of our ladybird colony. Within three days of their arrival, only a few aphids remained. Hoverfly patrol commenced shortly after and there was no escape for our sap sucking visitors – aphids last no more than a day in our garden since then.

We have witnessed the same and more helpers at the Triplespan… 

A fledgling ladybird colony and a number of hoverfly constantly patrol the flowering vegetables that are scattered throughout the growing beds – a remnant of our autumn plantings. The ladybirds seem to enjoy hanging out in the bracts of flowering parsley.

A blue banded bee! These solitary creatures – I’ve only witnessed them in pairs at most – love all blue and purple coloured flowers. I was thrilled to see one buzzing around the holy basil near the entrance to Span 1. I’m hoping that my 100 slips of holy basil will strike successfully so that we can plant a long row of this fragrant herb to provide this creature with the food that we all need.

We are enjoying the benefits of regular visits from a number of the tiny blue wren, up from their colony in the nearby tall rushes in the waterway. They are beautiful to watch as they hop along the paths of the beds. Every now and then they hop a little higher and grab an insect snack from one of the plants. As a result, we have witnessed very low levels of caterpillar, snail and slug infestation. I hope that our wren colony will continue to provide their meticulous insect management services throughout the growing season.

We cannot miss mentioning Biscuit the resident Black Shouldered Kite, who is regularly harvesting rodents in the area around the Triplespan. 

We expect that our plantings over the last few weeks will begin to mature over the next four weeks and we will begin to offer fresh grown produce for sale… keep an eye and ear out for more information soon.

Our ‘Dirt Patch’ Nursery at Wyoming raising our NEV Triplespan summer harvest…

Here’s a tally of what’s new to the soil at the Triplespan:

13 tomato varieties – 65 plants;
10 cucumber varieties – 40 plants;
2 squash varieties – approx. 20 plants;
6 climbing bean varieties – 34 plants;
1 dwarf bean variety – 120 plants;
2 asian green varieties – 60 plants;
2 lettuce varieties – 110 plants;
5 basil varieties – approx. 200 plants;
1 coriander variety – approx. 300 plants;
Also small plantings of pumpkin, watermelon and luffa for fun!

And there are a lot more seedlings to plant in the coming weeks, including a lot more salad greens and asian greens, 7 eggplant varieties, a couple of zucchini varieties and a bunch of herbs.

If you would like to join in the fun, come along on Tuesday afternoons in 2020! More info >