Wednesday, 28 October 2009

SCOTD: 0001

Spooky Coincidence Of The Day: Was mainly thinking of two things today. One: Absolute mosquito plague here in South Yunderup. Being right beside the Murray river (The WA one) and there being tidal overflow lakes all over the place, it's always thick with mosquitoes around here. According to locals, last year was a particularly bad year for the bitey buggers, and so far this year has trumped last year in aces, spades, and bucketsful. I swear I was brushing off clumps of them the last few days while venturing outside at dusk, and that's despite spray repellant, full length clothing, and moving around most of that time.

Full length clothing? The bloody mozzies laughedat that, they can bite right through a chambray cotton business shirt. Repellent? They bloody well threw themselvesagainst me in the hope (I guess) that they'd stick for a second and get just one little suck in before the chemical drove them away again. These are desperate mosquitoes, people!

So I thought about what I could plant that mozzies totally HATE, and that made me remember I had the fine book "Companion Gardening" by Judith Collins out of the local library. I've read about 2/3 of the book, not from cover to cover but a cherry-picking approach - what do I plant next to corn? And what helps tomatoes to grow better? You know, the kind of reading for snippets that we refer to as "Googling" if we're doing it online. I hadn't seen anything under a heading "mosquitoes" or anything, though.

But I remembered something Dad said, way back when. He said "if you have a problem, or something on your mind, open a book - any book - at any random page, pick a random paragraph, and tyr and see how it might relate to your issue." I've tried this quite a few times, and it has always worked in some indirect or loosely-connected way. So I figured what the hell, I have a mozzie problem, I have a book of garden solutions - what have I got to lose?

And here's the very spooky result: I riffled the pages and opened the book, (as it happened, at page 85,) and looked at the first complete paragraph on the page.

FLEABANE (Erigeron)

This plant is an excellent mosquito repellent. In my garden fleabane is planted close to the edible water gardens and the swimming pool. It grows well with yarrow, vegetables, marjoram, and feverfew.

Silently sending a thank-you to Dad there on the other side for his wisdom and for guiding my choice to that exact paragraph... Now all I have to worry about is where to find fleabane...

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1 comment:

Wolfie! said...

It's funny but that's how my Cousin gets a parking space, she asks my dad to find her one... Dad was a delivery man and a very good driver who was good at getting a parking spot.

Banes, yes... Olde English for "poison"... You'll see a lot of them in the good herb books, Henbane, Dogbane, Wolfsbane (aconitum) yes it's real.

As for their effectiveness, I really don't know, if they laugh at chemicals, I don't honestly think the herbs will do much.

I have a citronella pelagonium which is supposed to keep mozzies away, not sure that it does, but katie brushes up against it and comes in smelling quite nice.


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