04 July 2010

Black and white butterfly, collapsing cucumber and other tales of sorrow

The beautiful black and white butterfly below landed on our mandarin orange tree and has stayed put there (if anyone knows its name, please tell). We don't know if this is normal but are worried because other winged creatures, a moth and a wasp, have come to our garden to die. It looks like there's some winged-insect Chernobyl near us.

You can see the awful state of the garden wall, which the clinging ivy must have made worse. It's to be painted soon -- I don't want to think about what that means for my plants.

Meanwhile, the cucumbers are another worry. I seem to be losing a third plant, leaving only one out of four. The picture shows the two surviving plants together, sick and healthy. I don't know what is attacking the cucumber plants; none of the other veg plants seem to be affected, including the poi saag right next to the cucumbers (touch wood). The lower poi saag leaves are as big as my hand although they don't seem so big in the picture. In these pics you will also see the ugly a/c compressor and pipes that take up much space on my small balcony.

The  curry leaf plant is also doing well. I'm keeping an eye on it because its predecessor developed deformed leaves (not that I will know what to do if that happens again except grieve). All my plants have a difficult time because of the lack of sun in my garden. The balcony gets more sun but not in the monsoon, which in Bangalore means day after day of clouds and rain. The tomatoes are just about holding their own in these circumstances.

Maybe to relieve all this gloom, the violets and evening bells are making an appearance:

BTW, if I call any plant by the wrong name, do let me know.


  1. Hi Jeanne...that is a Lime butterfly, another common swallowtail found in gardens. You're lucky to get a shot with the wings spread out. Sorry to read about your cucumber plants but your curry leaf is doing well. As for the blooms...pretty!

    Have a pleasant evening!

  2. Thanks, Kanak. Saw the wonderful swallow tail on your blog today -- very black and dramatic.

    The healthy cucumber in the picture above was also affected but this time I managed to halt the damage with a timely spray of neem soap solution. There are lots of flowers on it now, which I hope to see turning into cucumbers.