A cautionary tale: Box caterpillar

We've been on box-watch the past week or so and keeping our fingers crossed that the pesky box caterpillar we spotted on one plant didn't migrate to our other topiary balls.

It's a case of so far, so good.

This is the third box bush, the one that's most visible from our patio.  There's a few singed leaves, but given the weather we've had it's doing quite well.

 BOX NUMBER 3

BOX NUMBER 3

The next box bush along, is topiary ball number two and in between this and the one above is the pot of white agapanthus, still just about in flower.  It's browner than the one above, but is greener than it has been over the past few months.

 BOX NUMBER 2

BOX NUMBER 2

And then there's the box plant that we spotted several box caterpillars on:

BOX NUMBER 1

Yes, we took drastic action!

As you can see from the photo below, it really didn't look very healthy at all.

THE UNHEALTHY LOOKING BOX NUMBER 1

It was full of these pesky little critters.

ONE OF THE CULPRITS - BOX CATERPILLAR

Who are clearly greedy souls. 

Our plan is to remove the root from the plant that we've disposed of, but that was proving trickier than we thought.  Looking back we realised that the plants have probably been in these waist-high pots for the best part of fifteen years, so I suspect it's quite comfortable.  It'll be interesting to see just how large it is, and as you'd expect I have a plan for unearthing the root and I'm hoping we'll get that put into action in the next week or so, weather permitting.

When the pot is empty, our longer-term plans include replacing it with a fern that we hope will like the position in the garden alongside the conservatory.  We'll need some pot juggling too, as with two box balls and two pots of agapanthus, the single fern will need to be in the middle.

The remaining box balls have survived a couple of weeks since box-watch started, so I'm hopeful our drastic action has helped.

Fingers crossed.