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The Concrete Gardener: Life at a Snail’s Pace

image of a snail on a flower

There’s a silent war going on in Cyprus. Nobody talks much about it and certainly nobody says much about the death and destruction being wrought in gardens island wide. War? Destruction? Death? Okay, okay, it’s fine to come out of your bomb shelter. I’m not talking about an invasion by a hostile power, I’m talking about nature and it’s desire, every now and then, to balance things out a little. In this case, nature seems to think we need an excess of snails and slugs. Snails and slugs at war? No,  snails and slugs eating their way through tons of gardener’s hard work. I’ve lost so many seedlings to these pests that it’s getting to be a potential drought of flowers this summer. Of the literal hundreds of African Marigold seeds I’ve planted I have ten plants alive, though one now consists of a flowering bud and stalk, all leaves being eaten.

What’s the answer? Beer! Slugs at least love beer and a side effect of that beer indulgence? Death by drowning or alcoholic poisoning. I’m not sure which but either way, it works.

Snails are another matter, they don’t seem to like beer. So in their case I’m picking them off, one by one, and transporting them to a field out back where they can munch the weeds to their hearts content.

Never before in ten years have I seen so many snails and slugs and never before have I had to work so hard to keep my plants safe.

Life in Cyprus isn’t all about lazy days round the pool sipping cocktails, it’s actually about hard work… someone pass me another beer, please.

Tom Kane © 2018
 

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