Monday, July 19, 2010

friend, replacement, insects

In a friend's house, a friendly cat, met for the first time, makes an impression. Most cats are, at best, stand-offish until they are sure of your status and background. Not this one which, at one point, stands up on its hind legs to ask you to pick it up. At 14, it is too old to jump into your lap.

Not to say that I avoid it altogether, but nowadays I try not to drink alcohol as a reflex. But what to drink instead when others are sipping glasses of wine, or  beer? My favourite substitute is chilled tomato juice, seasoned with Tabasco, Lee and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and celery salt. With Vodka added, it is, of course, a Bloody Mary. Without, I am told, it becomes a Virgin Mary.

 In the vegetable garden, I listen for buzzing and look for bees and butterflies and other insects. After the broad beans failed to set this year, as a result, I suspect, of the scarcity of six-legged winged creatures that look for pollen, insects have never seemed more important, as garden companions. The problem is that an old apple tree in the next door garden, died and toppled over last year, and that  garden  which  is itself  neglected, has, for convenience,  been crudely shorn of long grass and flowering weeds that might attract insects. The elder tree in the corner of the vegetable garden another draw for bees was cut down in the Spring. It's up to me, I suppose to plant more, herbs and perfumed flowers among the vegetable.  If no one arrives to polinate them, I fear that the runner beans and climbing French beans, now coming into flower, may go the same way as the broad beans.


CC said...

As for pollination... can't you use a clean water color brush and cross pollinate your own bean flowers. better than letting them all go under? (Don't think the flowers will mind that your a bit big for a bee or that your wings are missing) and you might get beans.

Love your cat picture... I've mentioned before that I tend to love cats in general.

marja-leena said...

I'm having a similar problem with my tomatoes with many flowers not setting fruit, even though I brush them lightly with my fingers whenever I remember. I thought they did not need bees but can't find any other reason.

Jane - Grove said...

I went to a friends house last week, and he proudly showed off his vegetable garden. He has no problems with pollination as his next door neighbour has a small bee hive less than 15 feet from the dividing fence!! Maybe we should all start keeping bees - if only they didn't sting...!