Paddy has sent in details of the Pest & Disease Workshop held in Herefordshire in July 2011. The wonderful gardens at Lower Hope were the venue – it must have grieved the Head gardener that he had to let some of the pests thrive so the members could see them on the workshop day!
“A fact-filled day learning about greenhouse pests from head gardener Brian Hall. The control of greenhouse pests using integrated pest management by biological control supported by cultural techniques, with chemical control as necessary, was discussed.
Brian was able to supply us with examples of infected plants, and we could examine the pests with the help of hand lenses. We were also shown the biological controls which was especially interesting. Definitely nature in the raw as we watched the mite, Phytoseulius persimilis devouring the Red Spider Mite!
We also talked about plants in the garden, and the importance of them being in the right environment to enhance their health and protection from disease. We particularly focused on roses and their requirements. Brian suggested that the ‘hedge trimmer’ method of pruning resulted in more robust plants as they were able to retain more foliage than with the traditional pruning.
The gardens were lovely with some dramatic herbaceous borders, shown off to perfection by a sunny afternoon.”