Diana, a friend since childhood, has been to stay. She brought a bouquet of white lilies, one of my favourite flowers. I have bought many lily bulbs over the years, but have never had any success when planting them in the garden, they just seem to disappear.
Now I plant only in pots, where they oblige me with a reliable display. There is the added bonus of being able to bring the pots into the house as the buds open to enjoy both the flower heads and their perfume.
I grow my lilies white
their leaves are green.
The lily beetle's vain and easily seen
in scarlet wing case,
like a lacquered nail.
Once spotted it's of no avail
for her to hide.
I take her life, it is of no account,
the beauty of the lily's paramount.
The garden is alive with insects and butterflies, not all of them being very well behaved. The tips of my asparagus fronds (How much time posting, June) are now stripped bare and it's anyone's guess who will win this particular battle.
Put on my surgeon's gloves and eagle eyes,
(two for the price of one)
and concentrate to finish what's begun.
Eradication is the only goal -
a battle - not for heart and not for soul
but for the fronds of greenery, now stripped,
demolished by the caterpillar's grip.
I won't be beaten,
have my set routine
each morning, search, and if they're seen,
the rubber glove revenge.
The beetle drops, survivor's strategy.
I'm ready and my hand is cupped below.
(I've got the killer instinct, you should know.)
I want my plants to flourish and to grow.
A gentle occupation, you might think,
It's life lived on the brink.