I am back in Bonn and am subletting a well loved garden and apartment from a Botanist. - Life is good in these busy days of Spring. Every surface in the apartment is covered in plants and seedlings all yearning to go out and be planted in warm summer beds.
I am doing my best to be a good flower gardener. This is a new experience for me - ordinarily if i can't eat it then it has no use to me but I am softening. This morning I was sad to see one of the fritilleria was half eaten with the shining tell-tale markings of the slug all over the remnant petals. The fritilleria grows mostly in the wild here in Germany and has been carefully cultivated here in the garden - It's petals have the pattern of a chess board in purple and white. It is a top-choice for the bumblebees who have been buzzing around them for days waiting for a chance to climb inside and gather.
Because of this half-eaten fritillaria I had the tough task of killing slugs today. - Molluska is an amazing phylum as anyone who has ever spent time with a cephalopod will know. - I love mollusks of all kinds and the snails here in this garden are particularly beautiful. I'd never apply any chemicals to do away with the pest problem - even to the detriment of whole yields of lettuce and other tasty foods. Nonetheless, the slugs had to go.
The The first step to killing off the slugs was 'digging in' a mulch pile where the little molusks were doing all their breeding. I did a sort of double dig, first going through and loosening the soil in the center of the beds, watching out for all the giant earthworms, trying hard not to dig into any buried bulbs or trample any sprouted ones. I then mixed the mulch in to the top later of the soil - the many displaced communities of insects were running for their lives all the while.
The second step was to round up the remaining individual slugs and drown them in the water lily pond. That is better than crushing them - at least at this point in the season - later on I'll be busy enough not to take the extra step.
The epiphany for today is that I need a pet. A small flightless duck to keep me company, walk around in the garden and eat all the slugs. Feed the slugs to the duck and then eat the duck at the end of the summer.
Any idea where I can get one of those?