Have you found Esther and the Time Machine? Roughly a sequel to Esther in the Garden. A nod to science fiction. Mostly twaddle. Hopefully fun.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010


This is an advert; an unashamed advert for my cousin's biological controls.

It was going to be a learn-ed advert, with detailed drawings - but predator and prey look too much the same to me. I can tell the difference between a carrot and a sawfly but when it comes to insects, mites and parasites, I feel as if I'm looking at a monstrous regiment of frozen green rabbits in a field of furry lettuces.

Names -  well, names may be clearer for predators have bagged some good ones . . .

Encarsia - will deal with white fly
Phytoseiulus - with spider mite
Cryptolaemus - with mealy bugs.

(I'd rather be called 'Cryptolaemus' than 'Mealy Bug'!)

Sue says she's got aphid parasites for greenfly too.

I think she's run out of Latin.

If she'd like, I can supply her with some.

Last night, at three in the morning, I woke myself up singing 'Beatus Vir'.

"Peribit, peribit," I muttered into the darkness.

"Dentibus, dentibus suis

"Dentibus, dentibus suis,

"Fremet et tabescet ."

I sing this a lot in the daytime too. I wander round the house shouting the phrases and whispering the echoes to myself.

It strikes me this could be Sue's theme tune.

"Perish, perish, gnash your teeth, your teeth. Gnash 'em and melt away."

How's that for a bio-pest ditty? I wonder if Monteverdi would mind. Perhaps we should write and ask him.

Meanwhile . . .

If you'd like some Hypoaspis mites to kill your fungus gnats (whatever they are) Sue will sell them to you. (Or, if you'd rather, you can bump them off (the fungus gnats) with Nemasys Sciarid Fly killer.) (She can supply that too.)

(Charming relatives I've got! Fungus gnats only have to hear her voice and they start Tremensing violently and you can hear them Fremeting from as far away as Lisbon.)

Some nasties, she rears and grows and gives names to.  Then, because they have to eat something while they're waiting to move home, she nurtures green fly too to feed them with.  (She's a bit like Nero in a Sunday School, maintaining the supply of Christians.)  But she doesn't rear everything from scratch and buys some in on your behalf. (Predators that is, not greenfly.)  Result? She can sell you stuff with which to Nemasyde your pest caterpillars or your ants-in-the-wrong-places. Come August, she'll help you Nemasyde your chafer grubs.
In September and October, you can have a go at your Vine Weevils and your Leather Jackets. (If only I believed in being nasty to Leather Jackets! I removed my lawn rather than remove mine (Leather Jackets) . . . but some people are more attached to their lawns than I was.)

Just at present, she's wanting readers to know about 'Grow Your Own Nemasys'. This confused me for a while because I though it was a sort of nematode starter-pack (or even a self-destruction plan) but it's called 'Grow Your Own' so we know its for people growing their own vegetables, not for people who want to grow their own nematodes. I'd imagined something along the lines of a ginger beer plant but Sue was very shocked and enthused for awhile about sterile laborotories and . . . well . . .

. . . anyway . . . You get sent packs of appropriate nematodes over the growing season and water them in. A kind of Open University approach to killing.

Sue's also supplied me with a list of Questions and Answers. If you like, you can now ask me things like 'Can I keep Nematodes in my Fridge?' and I will be able to tell you. How's that for power?

On the other hand, you could phone Sue yourself,

01798 867574

or go to her website at

There, a real advert!

P.S. I think VP will be testing the Nemasys Grow your Own throughout the growing season and will be reviewing it on her blog.

P.P.S. To readers outside Britain and possibly parts of Europe . . . um . . . exporting doesn't stretch to other continents. (I think it's because the seats in passport photo-booths don't wind up high enough and nematodes can't easily get their faces level with the camera.)

If this were a real advert in the 1960s, there'd be a little jingle here, and we'd all sing something like 'Be Wise, Buy Biowise' and grin cheesily.  Then a happy little ladybird would toddle into view and say
'Ladybirds  -  and Bumblebees Too!'


NellJean said...

This is of great interest. those of us who welcome butterflies and bees to our garden need more bio controls for the bad bugs.

The only nematodes I have that I am aware are the nasty, non-beneficial kind that causes root knot and stunts plants.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

"Nero in a Sunday School"??? LOL. Esther, you crack me up. And your comment on my hifalutin' blue plants post is utterly the best today. Hilarious you are. Brilliant, clever blogger, definitely. Idiot, never.

leavesnbloom said...

I think these nemotodes are gonna become more and more popular - I am going to bookmark the site incase I need to recommend a site for someone.

Jim Groble said...

What a humorous and informative blog. As for running out of latin, just add icus to the end of any word. bob the dog turns into bobicus K9icus. jim

easygardener said...

I think nematodes should be sold with a free magnifying glass so we can see what they look like. I envisage them hanging around in a little gang - waiting for a pest to mug.

Elephant's Eye said...

What?! No passports for nematodes?

VP said...

Be Wise, Buy Biowise - must work on that little ditty for my post then.

I think mine will be a great let down after your great build up though!

Happy Easter, Esther :)

bare-faced gardener said...

Fascinating, brilliant post. My main problem is slugs & snails (actually thought about putting the hair from my puppydog’s tail around my precious plants – that is, the ones that survived Winter !)

I shall spread the word about Biowise – Be Wise :-)

There are violets everywhere this year – must be a good one, wild marigolds, muscari and anemones. You’ve just reminded me I haven’t looked at my Clematis armandii yet …

Thanks for telling me about the odd adverts – I most certainly don’t pick them ! I have just been to an old post of mine to send the link to someone and at the bottom was a cartoon girl telling me I’ve “been naughty” and beckoning me with a crooked finger … That’s it, they’re gone. What kind of blog do they think it is !!

Happy Easter Esther to you and the family. x

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I tend to let the good and bad bugs fight it out in my garden and stay pretty much out of the way. Interesting post, though. Happy Easter!

Rothschild Orchid said...

I just popped by my dear to wish you, Ming and the family a very Happy Easter.

Loving the bug drawings.

RO xxx

elizabethm said...

Happy Easter Esther. I wonder if I could invent some sort of hydraulic device which would solve the problem of passports for nematodes? Don't like to think of them pining for warmer climes and never able to go on holiday.

rosa said...

A happy Easter Monday! (Still not sure what one does on Easter Monday. Eat chocolate? We're celebrating by painting the living room, which last got painted in 1997. 13 years and 2 children later, it is a bit grubby. But man, what a big ole pain!

Scattered Gardener said...

Love the orange bugs - are they carrot flies? (I've never seen one - just the holes they leave behind). I might agree with you about Cryptolaemus if it didn't remind me of decrepit.
What I'd really like is something to help my tomatoes against the blight this year. Do you think your cousin can help?

garden girl said...

Kudos, and much success to your cousin, Esther! This seems like an excellent time for a business such as hers, as more and more gardeners are becoming more ecologically savvy.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Oh Esther, cute advert. I especially love the ending. Yes, nemotodes do a garden good.~~Dee

Esther Montgomery said...

Dear Everyone,

I'm not ignoring all your comments - just postponing replies until I write a new post.

I'll get round to that eventually but, in the meantime, am feeling rather chuffed with myself that I'm managing to sit back for a minute.

Here speaks a blogging addict!


Urban Dirt Girl said...

Darling, If all her little beasties could be sent to the US I would buy in a heartbeat. Bloody whitefly got me good last year. Btw, there is nothing remotely boring about your blog my dear....I found you through IDG and will visit often! UDG

garden girl said...

Kudos for taking a break Esther! I hope you're enjoying sitting back.