The tomatoes are really coming thick and fast now, and I have yet to taste a tomato as delicious as the ones grown here in Bulgaria. With a slice of local goats cheese, a few basil leaves and a dash of olive oil, you have a lunch fit for a Thracian king!
|Life Cycle of Nezara viridula, taken from Topics in Subtropics|
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare about to burst into full bloom
The flowers of Fennel attract an astonishing amount of organisms to the garden and we’re always quite amazed by the sheer volume of visitors. In particular, a variety of flies seem to visit the blooms, including Hoverflies – (Syrphid flies/flower flies), which are in fact very valuable pollinators as well as pest predators. Some species produce larvae that feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. The adult female hover fly will find a location where aphids are present and lay her eggs nearby. When the caterpillar like larvae emerge from the eggs, they move along the plant surface, lifting their heads to grope for prey, seizing them and sucking them dry. A single larva can consume hundreds of aphids in a month. Hoverflies are reported to be excellent at detecting and attacking even low numbers of aphids. Check back next week for some images, as I hope to capture the activity during this week.
We’ll end this post with an update on the ducks – it’s quite unbelievable how quickly they’ve grown, and 2 ‘batches’ of ducklings have now been introduced into the garden. The final ‘batch’ still requires the safety of the cage for now, as they are just 1 week old, but mother and babies are doing very well :)