For those who are unaware, my daughter is bug mad – as evidenced by the multiple millipedes and stick insects that live in her bedroom.
We are also keen to be green, although we fail to get very far with this on a daily basis. This year we made a sterling attempt to grow vegetables and have actually managed to grow some peas, beetroot and – the pinnacle of my growing achievement – broccoli in a pot. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this. The Good Life is in reach.
Now, however, we had a quandary.
We watched a Cabbage White butterfly lay dozens of eggs on my hard grown broccoli plants. What with P’s bug enthusiasm and Chris Packham worrying me about butterflies we had a decision to make. Do we let our beautiful broccoli sprout and feel a sense of agricultural achievement? Or do we watch 16 caterpillars eat our broccoli but potentially turn into much needed butterflies? It’s no contest.
I did try suggesting we put organic cabbage around the plants but my OH felt this was a little ridiculous. So butterflies it is.
It should be a carefully balanced ecosystem in our garden, but, as expected, the bugs are winning.
Edited to add: at least two more different types of caterpillar are now munching their way through our broccoli leaves. I’ve totally come to terms with the lack of broccoli and am now worrying that the birds I love so much are going to eat the caterpillars.