Insects in the Kitchen Garden

Bumble bee

Bumble bee

Red-eyed fly

Red-eyed fly

African Monarch

African Monarch
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Spotted beetle

It was only once I was given a digital camera and started taking pictures of flowers that I really started to notice all the insects in my garden. The next step was to try and identify them, and as has happened throughout my research on kitchen gardening, I found a kindred spirit to guide me. Well known entomologist Dr Tanza Crouch not only identified the insects, but she introduced me to a wondrous, fantastic, entertaining and beautiful show that insects and other creatures act out in the garden every day. Now I’m totally hooked and I find myself thinking about what to plant to encourage more and more insects into the garden. I’ve also started collecting Tanza’s beautiful ceramics so that I can enjoy beetles on my coffee cups, wasps all over the teapot,  mantids on the plates, and butterflies on the butter dish (of course). Have a look at Tanza’s website and while you’re surfing the web also go to jewelery designer Elaine Kool’s website to see how insects have inspired many of her beautiful creations. (Incidentally, Elaine took the photographs which appear in the post: Visitors to the garden Pond)
You’ll find information on the roles that insects play in the garden in the book Cultivating Flavour: apart from their decorative value many insects play an important role as pollinators, whilst others are pest predators which you need to encourage to visit the garden so that they can keep vegetable pests under control. The book is also full of insect photographs, and had our book designer not restrained me there would have been loads more. Here are some of the photographs I couldn’t fit into the book. Enjoy.

For more ideas on working with the environment on this blog go to the post: Visitor’s to the garden pond

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Kitchen garden insects

Dragon Fly

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