Potty Gardening Club: Lily Beetle
Hello Potty Gardeners, we hope you are all staying safe.
We can’t get out into the Secret Garden at the museum at the moment, but there are plenty of gardening things you can do at home.
The first thing to do is stay safe; wear gardening gloves if you have them, check your hands for cuts and put on a plaster if you need. Be careful around anything sharp, like thorns. Check with a grown up!
This time of year there are lots of different insects coming into the garden. This is really important. Insects help to pollinate flowers. It’s not only bees that do this, beetles and moths and other mini beasts also help. But not all insects are helpful in the garden.
So today we are going on our first Backyard Safari to try and find out what insects you have in your garden. Don’t worry if you don’t have much of a garden, you can find insects and spiders in lots of places.
Here is a picture of a beetle found in my garden:
This is a lily beetle. It’s very bright, as you can see. Orange and red colours flash a warning to birds and other animals that may try to eat them – it says “I do not taste very nice, leave me alone!”
The lily beetle got its name because it is found on lilies and fratilleries (another flower). It eats these plants and lays its eggs on them.
So is the lily beetle good or bad for the garden? It’s certainly a pretty beetle, so I leave them alone if they are not doing to much damage to my plants.
Why don’t you see if you can find a beetle in your garden, and take a photograph of it? Write down where you found it, for example under a plant pot, on a twig, in the soil. Try to identify it, do you think it’s good or bad for your garden and plants?
Written by Rob Gagliano, Casual Learning Development Leader and Natural Science Collections Volunteer