Monday, 10 January 2011

Ladybird Towers

This is the latest in des res accommodation for ladybirds. I have been meaning to make a bug hotel for such a long time and still haven't got round to it, so hubby bought me 'Ladybird Towers' for Christmas. There's lots of little holes drilled in to the wood for the ladybirds to hibernate in, and it comes with a pole to stand it on so I'll be able to site it in my wildlife border. The little ladybird decorations are so cute. Ladybirds are gardener's friends as they help keep the aphid population under control. The ladybirds eat the aphids and also produce larvae which will eat aphids too.

There was a return to snow here last week. We got quite a covering on Friday but it rained during the night turning it to mush for Saturday, so it didn't hang around for long. It was very wet over the weekend though so there was no trip to the allotment. I really need to get down there if only to check on my purple sprouting broccoli, it's the first time I've grown it and I want to check how it's doing.

It won't be long now until we're buying our potato tubers ready to chit before planting. I still haven't made a final decision on which I'll be growing this year so if you have any last minute recommendations I'd be happy to hear them. I'm going to grow my earlies in containers to free up extra space at the allotment for main crops. Varieties I've tried before have suffered from slug damage so I might be better looking for a variety with some resistance.


  1. What a lovely ladybug house! I hope you get a lot of ladybugs there next autumn!
    We usually get ladybugs in the house. They spend the winter on the walls hibernating and in spring they fly out.

  2. We will be finalising our potato tubers too.

    We always grow earlies (no late maincrop) and ones that are waxy - the salad varieties. This way they produce some decent tubers early and so can be dug early before the slugs do too much damage - slugs also seem less likely to go for waxy potatoes. We buy tubers from Alan Romans - there's a link on my blog as they offer a really wide range and also give information about each variety.

    Varieties perform differently in different weather and on different soils etcwhich is why we choose several in the hope that at least some get the condiations that they like!

  3. Very nice Jo. I've been looking at Lacewing houses to protect my allotment grown hops from greenfly. I must try to convince the wife it's another essential purchase.

  4. Hi Jo - it looks great. Hubby made me a bug house last year but its too high up the fence, need to move it really. I'd be interested to hear how your purple sprouting broccoli is coming along, did you net yours? Amanda x

  5. What a snazzy little ladybird home Jo ~ hope that it attracts the locals. I enjoyed Lady Christl last year but not sure whether it's one that the slugs would be partial to or not :)

  6. The lady birds, we call them lady bugs, like to over winter on our upstairs hall ceiling. Amazingly, they do not leave behind any mess. There are always a few waking up and wandering through the house in the winter. I almost think they are part of the Christmas decorations.

  7. This is lovely Jo, I have a couple of bug hotels but they aren't anything as good as this...but they also only cost me £1. They are the wood with the holes in and then a hook with hanger...that's fancy roof or ladybird decorations.

    I think I will put some holes in the old tree trunks I put up the allotment for little table too.

  8. Great ladybug house!
    Making one is one of my projects for this coming year, we got a bunch over the summer last year and I want them to stay

  9. It's always good to see ladybirds, and I@m such yours will appreciate that wonderful looking home.
    It's turned wet and mild here, and the plot is now waterlogged.
    I bought my potatoes on Sunday...first earlies Vales Emerald which I've not grown before, second earlies Charlotte and Kestrel which are both favourites and maincrop Desiree.

  10. Whoops that should say...I'm sure...!
    Flighty xx

  11. The Ladybird Towers certainly don't look FAWLTY... :)

    That reminds me, I must go and inspect the log-pile I made just to see if it has indeed become home to loads of creepy-crawlies.

  12. I think one of these will be finding its way into my garden before long Jo. So sweet!

    I'm definitely going to do potatoes this year and will keep a look out for some local 'potato days' this month and early next month, to get the best varieties. Belle de Fontenay, Red Duke of York, Annabelle and Pink Fir Apple are on my list so far. Which varieties didn't do well for you Jo? - hopefully none of the above:-)


  13. I've noticed lots of ladybirds hibernating in dead stems this winter so I'm hoping they'll use their new house this coming autumn, Vrtlarica. I haven't found any hibernating in the house yet though.

    I'll check out the Alan Romans link, Green Lane Allotments. I will grow a variety too so that I hedge my bets.

    Hope you have luck convincing your wife, Mark. I'd quite like a butterfly house now to stand alongside Ladybird Towers.

    I still haven't checked out my broccoli yet, Amanda. I haven't netted it so it may have all gone by the time I get down there.

    It would be nice to see some ladybirds move in, Anna. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next year. I haven't tried Lady Christl before, I'll have to check that one out.

    The ladybirds must be attracted to the warmth in your house, Kat. I've never noticed any in my house before, though I've seen lots hibernating in my borders this year.

    The roof and decorations are only for our benefit though, Tanya. I'm sure the ladybirds won't mind if your hotels don't have them. It's a good idea to drill some holes in the tree trunk table, perhaps you'll attract things in there too.

    I kept saying that I would make my own bug hotel, fer, but I never got round to it. I hope you manage to attract your ladybirds to stay.

    I hope I manage to entice some ladybirds to use it, Flighty. There's not a lot we can do when the plot's waterlogged, it's been very wet here too. I've heard good things about Vales Emerald, I'm quite tempted to try them myself.

    Ha ha, I loved Fawlty Towers, Mark, in fact, I've stayed in a couple of hotels quite similar myself. Hope you've managed to attract some residents in to your log pile.

    I've never tried any of the varieties you mention, Jeanne. Rooster is one which didn't do very well. I would have liked to have gone to the potato day in West Yorkshire this year but it falls on my son's birthday, so that's out.

  14. Love the ladybird tower - I want one too.
    we had a smattering of snow here in Blaenau last week, but then it rained and disappeared .. not like before xmas when we were snowed in for a week!

  15. ove the ladybird house. I intend to make one for my garden. Love the blog, have added it to my fave list.

  16. I don't mind the snow so long as it doesn't hang around, Lynda. I thought it was never going to disappear before Christmas.

    Thanks for visiting, Bridget, and for your lovely comment. I've been intending to make a bug hotel for some time now but still haven't got round to it.

  17. I've never seen a ladybug house before... it's so cute! Maybe I'll suggest it to people who complain to me about them overwintering inside their house.

    I'd love it if you'd submit one of your potato posts for the next issue of How to Find Great Plants:

  18. Thanks for visiting, Eliza. I do like the ladybird house, they also make lacewing and butterfly houses too, I'd quite like one of those. I haven't had chance to pop over to your blog yet but I will visit when I get a minute.


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