Hello readers. I do hope you have been enjoying your reading so far. My wife gave our articles a quick squiz and I am pleased as punch to say that she readily approved. Not that I was at all concerned but that old lady is a hard one to please at times. We have been together far too long for me to shudder in my boots and say; yes, marm, no, marm, three bags full, marm. Although between you and me, I generally just do as I am told in order to have my peace.

After all my office keeping hours, it took quite some time for me to fully appreciate the finer nuances of being in a peaceful garden. Soon, you will get the hang of it and you will appreciate this much too. Inasmuch as bees are attracted to organic gardens that is the one thing I look forward to in the morning as well. While the old lady is still shaking her bones out of bed, my first cup of coffee is already made and me and the cat are out in the back setting up some old recycled umbrellas before the sun’s UV rays see first light.

Why are we doing this, you might be wondering. Isn’t this rather odd? An old man setting up umbrellas in his back garden. It is an innovative idea, if you don’t mind me saying so, although I might as well just tell you that it was all my wife’s doing. She learnt firsthand just how harsh the sun’s UV rays can be to the plants’ leaves. It is bad enough having caterpillars chewing your plants’ succulent leaves. Such are the vagaries of keeping bee-friendly gardens.

It is a small price to pay, but the natural damage is minimal in comparison to the sun’s interference. I used to use pesticides to ward off these caterpillars back in the day, but no more. In actual fact, whatever remains of the chameleons  – sad to say this, the harshness of nature is one thing, but our urban environments have contributed to the little creatures’ slow disappearance – and the abundance of birds that still visit our garden every year, these caterpillars are par for the course, food galore for the garden creatures.

You do not need to be as awkward as I am at warding off the sun. If you are starting off with the organic gardening enterprise for the first time, see if you can spare the expense of acquiring a few, ready to plant trees, tall enough to shade your future perennials from the sun’s harsh rays. I do like the idea of keeping indigenous trees to keep our organic theme as authentic as possible, but the trouble with some parts of the world is that the ignorance of local governing authorities does not allow the planting of indigenous trees and plants.

I cannot see why not. After all, the more natural greenery we have about, especially if it is going to be in our own garden, the more chance we have of nipping high carbons in the bud. All forms of plant life, trees in particular, will be gorging on carbon dioxide. There can be nothing more natural than to reduce our unnecessarily high carbon footprint. So, whatever you do this year, or the next, do plant some trees.

And whatever you heard your hardware store sales clerk say about warding off irritable pests, discard what he said. Ignore him completely because as far as I am concerned, he is just trying to sell another bag of chemical pesticides. Is it any wonder then that he may be pressing the sales matter on your gullible shoulders? Perhaps word has already gotten around that in order to keep the new garden as organic as possible; no use of chemical pesticides must be made whatsoever.

And those irritating little, or fat, caterpillars? Well, as I said earlier, you may just as well get used to them. Do not worry too much over whether they’ll be taking over your garden, because they won’t. And this is why. Keeping your new garden pesticide free will attract other welcome creatures. And would it not be nice to see colorful butterflies gliding through your garden every now and then? Your colorful garden will be attracting a variety of birds.

And they relish the prospect of feeding their young with those juicy caterpillars. Another welcome insect to your garden will be those ladybirds which many people have only ever seen in their children’s books. A pesticide free garden will be bringing a variety of garden-friendly insects, including the bees that will prey on typical pests. Of course, the bees will always be focusing on nectar and pollen. By making your truly organic garden as attractive as possible to all the necessary little creatures, you will be encouraging something of a mini biodiverse universe.

It was inevitable that I would land on the internet at some stage or another. My wife, in her advancing years, on the other hand, remains stubbornly opposed to this form of research. But my reading, as difficult as it was to adjust my eyes to the glaring print, revealed something of a new discovery. One online article spoke in depth about the ‘three P’s’ for attracting organic pest predators. These are your natural pollinators (the bees, and birds), the predators (ladybirds are one example) and, curiously, your natural parasites.

Parasites, as it turns out, are always necessary. This is what your garden-friendly insects, as well as lizards and geckos, will be feeding on. Their foraging habits don’t ruin your newly planted flowers. They encourage natural mulching in their own small way. And so you see, less work on your hands again. By persisting with chemically-induced pesticides and herbicides, you will be fracturing the bio-diversity of your organic garden.

So, the next time your ‘helpful’ sales clerk tells you to ‘buy this’ just tell him to ‘hush now’. You have an organic garden, and bees, to feed.