Today, as I was going through folders of photos I took through the spring and summer months, I came upon this cheap and cheerful water feature my friend Barry devised for his garden. It looked so classy, yet was unbearably simple and didn’t cost a thing.
All he did was take three terracotta saucers of varying sizes and stack them into one another. He set overturned plastic saucers underneath the top two layers to give them height. Brilliant!
The water feature did encourage a lot of wasps to a warm and dry part of the garden, which may not be your thing, but it turned out to be a simple and stylish way to encourage and keep these beneficials doing their work in the garden. No one has ever been stung.
I haven’t noticed it to be quite the exaggerated horror film some are saying, but apparently Toronto is in the midst of a yellow jacket population explosion. The increase is thought to be the result of the combination of a cool, wet season, and the recently resolved garbage strike. All-in-all there’s just a lot more bugs in our gardens this summer, period.
Which is why, like Not Far From the Tree, I would also urge home owners to reconsider calling in an exterminator to destroy nests. Wasps may be a nuisance around the backyard barbecue, but they are also predatory insects that help to reduce the increased population in pesky plant eaters like aphids. Check out this fantastic series from Chair BriÃƒÂ¨re of a yellow jacket eating a cabbage worm.
Yesterday afternoon I happened upon this scene on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if the yellow jackets are doing us any favors by decreasing the cicada population (I love cicadas) but unfortunately like spiders, they aren’t very discriminating. Still, it was fascinating to watch them in action, if not a little bit gruesome.