For a while I hoped that the newly planted blackcurrant bushes would stay pest-free. No such luck. A few weeks ago the leaves took on a lacy look, and I realised that the dreaded sawfly had struck. Finding the little blighters took a bit of detective work until I sussed out where the tiny caterpillars were hiding. Look for a crinkled up bit of leaf, seemingly welded together. Prize it open to reveal a wooly nest. Squish the wriggling green caterpillar firmly. The squishing produces a virulent, alien-green blood. Well, it was either squishing or using some chemical which has probably been banned by the EU, which I'm still determined not to do. But no matter how much I squish the leaves are still being eaten. Perhaps there are actual sawflies now, which flit away at my approach. My father still laments the battery of powders and sprays he used to deploy in the garden, until they were banned by Brussels bureaucrats. I'm holding firm, but I can see what he means.
Fighting the horror
9 months ago