Lupins! Lupins! Lupins!

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It's safe to say that on Pig Row that we'd happily ride beside Monty Python's Dennis Moore as we are ever so slightly lupin mad. It started quite early for us back in 2012 when we tried our hand as this slug prone, mildew wilting plant. In our old garden at Drovers, lupins had a tendency to grow well on our little windowsill, harden off beautifully and then spend a whole twenty-four hours in an open border before slugs moved in. I tried organic slug pellets, I used coffee grounds (even though I don't drink the stuff and the excess of caffeine drinking had Carol thrashing in bed at night), I crushed egg shells, dug beer traps (cried at the waste of beer), went out at night with a torch but inevitably come sunrise there was no sign of the lupin, just sticky trails leading off into the undergrowth like the lupins had succumbed to the slowest smash and grab robbery. This meant when I sowed them for the first time at Pig Row I decided to sow them on mass. I thought quantity would win over quality and that the slugs wouldn't have the maw to eat them all. I grew them, I hardened them off and then I waited for them to be eaten or keel over after the first rainstorm.

Lupins, life on pig row

All the lupins germinated and all the lupins flowered by our old shed. Not a single hole, munch or spot of mildew. I would like to say why this happened. I don't know. It's just luck but as the garden has developed I think the secret lies in the biodiversity we have encouraged in the garden. We have a lot of frogs and toads, on a spring night you can hear them getting happy to the sound of Barry White in the garden pond. This means we have embraced the lupin as a stalwart of our border, they always get a smile when we see them, and as the garden has become less of a field and more of series of gardens they found a home in the cottage garden where they can be seen from the house. So, in 2018 we went for it with a large bed of lupins and foxgloves. Foxgloves are as hard as nails but after planting they all succumbed to slugs! They left the lupins alone! I don't know why!



Now, a year later the lupins are bigger and better, the monstrous blooms are brimming with bees and all we want is more lupins and more lupins! Stand and deliver! Give me your lupins or your life!


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