… the first ones were flying over the garden last weekend.  Cold, wet weather doesn’t seem to have put them off.  I love to sit outside at dusk, watching them zooming over the house, screaming as they go.

And there’s been a cuckoo (or maybe more than one) singing since the middle of the week.  Usually the arrival of the swifts and cuckoos means that spring is well underway, but this year it still doesn’t feel very spring-like outdoors.  April showers have become downpours, and there are too many plants still in the house because the nights (and sometimes the days) are too cold to risk putting them out in the greenhouse.

The apple trees are covered with blossom, but I’m not sure how many bees are braving the weather to pollinate them.

There is one garden creature that doesn’t seem to be bothered by the conditions –slugs have eaten their way through nearly all of the lettuces that I planted out in the raised beds at the Dutch House.

Well, nearly all of the green lettuces anyway, they don’t seem to like the red one quite so much and these have survived better.  The newly germinated radishes were also popular with the slugs.  So, for the last few days I’ve been eating grapefruit for breakfast and saving the empty half skins to take down to the raised beds to use as slug traps.  I’m not sure how effective they’ll be, but something has to be done – I’ve never lost so many plants in such a short space of time to slugs.  What do you use to control slugs in the vegetable patch?