Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Thursday, 10 July 2008


This is a post left over from when Loose and Leafy was a work of fiction. Later, it evolved into what it is now - a blog about the wild plants of the South Dorset Coast.

To make sense (in so far as there is sense) of these early posts, you may like to take a look at Esther in the Garden.

* * *

Leatherjackets are like long, brown maggots that have been rolled in cocoa-dust.
When they grow up, they become jennylegs / daddylonglegs / crane flies; those large, flying spidery things which bounce into your face in September and trail their stiff-thread legs up walls.

But when they are young they are dry-brown, inch-long, maggoty wrinkled disgusts which burrow through the roots of grass and eat them.
Before that first winter was done, the might-have-been-a-lawn had vanished.

There wasn't a single withered square left and the ground had been turned into an impenetrable mud rink from which rain slid down into my kitchen.

Now, let's think of something else.
This sky, for instance.

Or this water.

There are better things in life than leatherjackets.


Anonymous said...

Your new blog is lovely, looking forward to reading more of it.

Victoria said...

There certainly are better things than leatherjackets. Such as nematodes, which eat all the leatherjackets. I tried these on my lawn last year and they worked extremely well

Lucy said...

Hello Rach

I'm so pleased you like the blog. Starting a new one is a bit scary. I'm following what pleases me - and hoping it pleases other people too.

I'm also glad you left a note because it made me check you are on Loose and Leafy's blogroll. I thought I had copied everything from Esther Montgomery's Google Reader onto it - but yours got left out by chance so I've added it in now.

I expect there's a technologically smart way to transfer things but I did it the labourious way, blog by blog by blog.

I like your idea of chasing up urban gardeners. I'll be following your posts with interest.


Lucy said...

Hello Victoria

I'm not sure I could use parasites. It's a horribly squeamish thing. I'm not sure that I even like to know what Ladybirds and their offspring get up to!

Hope your leg is getting better.


Philip Bewley said...

I had this very strange dream where you were married to a Martian and all kinds of things were going on. It was all very surreal and brightly colored and wonderful,too. It seems I have woken up and everything is loose amd leafy, which is wonderful,too!

easygardener said...

I haven't got a lawn so leatherjackets and me get on just fine. Aphids are another story.

Lucy said...

Philip - it was definitely a dream because I am not married to anyone whereas my neighbour, Esther is. She says in her blog that her husband is a Martian. I've met him and he didn't look much like a Martian to me. It's funny how you can live next to someone for years without realising you are comprehending the same things in totally different ways.

Anyway, I expect that's where your brain got the idea from while you were asleep.

I'm glad you like 'Loose and Leafy'. It's a new venture . . . have to see where it goes!


Lucy said...

Easygardener - Yes, well, I don't have a lawn either now! Hmm. But you do have plants. I'll have to get round to explaining why I don't have a garden soon. The lawn was the first thing to go. It got worse. (In my view, anyway.)