Signs of… Slugs

A carnation growing from a cutting.

I’ll be honest: my garden plans have resulted in failure. Not quite all-out, unmitigated failure, but still, not success.

I think every blogger wants to paint a perfect picture of life behind the screen, but hey –  that’s not me. I mean, I would love for it all to work out perfectly and be able to blog about how brilliantly everything I’ve planned has worked out, but I don’t have the heart to fake it.

One of my successes – growing carnation cuttings from a marked-down supermarket bouquet.

When I wrote my post about the first signs of life in my garden in spring, I was hoping to be able to follow it up with a beautiful set of pictures of summer bulbs in flower. Well, it didn’t all turn out badly – my apple trees are growing, my cuttings are doing well and I’ve got even more cuttings and baby plants on the go now. However, the bulbs haven’t turned out so well…

The slugs got them all!

Not long after seeing the first shoots, I realised there was nothing there any more. I mean, they were munched! I had no idea what had happened until I saw some ragged shoots reappearing where they had been, and then noticed a crazy proliferation of slugs and snails.

I was talking to my father-in-law about it and said that I’d decided to give up on the idea of a year-round bulb garden. After all, why fight the enemy on their turf? They were there before me and I didn’t have the energy for a losing battle. He talked me into taking some slug pellets home with me, so I think I’ll brace myself for a fight next year.

No, I’m not ready yet, but very soon I’ll be ready to take those slugs on. We’ve got even more plans for growing vegetables, and they may have had this battle, but the war is yet to come!

Some cornflowers given to me as a present – I’ve got great friends!

Right now, I’ve got all of my cuttings, seedlings and layered plants on a bench a bit further out of reach, but the rest of the garden is suffering as well, because it just won’t stop raining! Taking scraps out to the compost heap involves squelching across the lawn, and hanging clothes out on the line during a rare break in the rain is like an extreme sport, with the amount of times I’ve slipped and nearly fallen over. The grass has gone crazy and it always seems too wet to cut it.

Vader hunts his prey out in the wilds.


Ah… well, never mind. Vader’s been loving it anyway, as he only wants to hunt bees and flies in the long grass. I’ve learned a lot from watching my garden since spring, and after one whole year in our home, I have to admit that we’ve done enough to be proud of. Sure, it’s not turned out exactly as I’d hoped so far, but that’s life, isn’t it?

How’s your gardening going?


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  1. I feel your pain. I have used organic slug pellets that are actually safe for wildlife.
    The beer method also works pretty well for me: bury a glass or a small plastic bottle cut in half so that the top is about an inch above ground (so bugs don't fall in). Fill it with beer, slugs and snails will drown in it with bliss. Pricewise this works out worse, I think, since beer isn't (yet) free.
    I tried the wood pellets too but they didn't seem to do anything other than make a hole in my wallet 🙁
    Oh yeah, this is what the RHS says:

  2. Hi Zsuzsanna, thanks for leaving such a helpful comment! I'm definitely going to try the beer trap and the wildlife-safe pellets, but thanks for the input on the wood pellets 🙂

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