Tag Archives: nature

Perseid Meteor Shower

Meteor_showerJust a quick note for fellow amateur skywatchers like me.  Tonight is the best night for seeing the Perseid meteor shower.  The shower is debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle and the earth passes through this trail of debris every year, the best nights for viewing in the northern hemisphere always occurring somewhere around 8th to 12th August.

When we moved away from town and out into the countryside it struck me how little of the night sky many of us humans see because of light pollution.  Without street lighting, on moonless nights the darkness can be almost inky black out here and it’s great for sky gazing.  On our first Summer at this house we sat out in the garden on some old reclining Summer chairs around the night of the 12th, children on our laps and all wrapped in warm blankets.  It was fantastic fun to watch the skies and see who could spot the meteors, although it wasn’t hard because this light show is a spectacular one on a good night, with several bolts of light visible in every minute.

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I’m still not back in my usual spot with the computer after the arrival of the carpets guys.  Time here is therefore limited but I hope things will be back to normal this weekend and I’ll be able to devote some proper time to catching up with everyone.

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Filed under Envioronment, Home

Natural deterrent to aphids

FeverfewBattling with aphids (greenfly) in the garden?  Commercially available insecticides often contain a chemical called pyrethrum which is derived from nature.  Rather than buying bottles of commercially prepared and potentially hazardous chemicals, you can harness the power of nature in deterring greenfly just by some clever planting. 

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a pretty daisy-like plant that contains pyrethrins – very similar to the chemicals in commercial sprays.  Plant Feverfew amongst your flowers and it’s presence will deter the little insect marauders. DaisyGolden feverfew is a pretty plant in its own right – as the name suggests its foliage is a yellow/golden colour – and all plants will readily self-seed all over the garden if you allow them to.  (This plant is also used as a traditional herbal remedy for migraine).

BeeWhilst it is possible to make your own insecticidal spray or powder from these plants I wouldn’t advise it as it is toxic to bees. In its plant form it seems to work well enough for me and does no harm to bees.  Some sources claim that it will deter bees from the garden, although I have never found this to be the case and have often seen bees visiting the feverfew flowers.  

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Filed under Gardening, General Health, General tips, Herbal alternatives