I have built a wall!


I have been thinking about my Hosta plants…


We have a north facing corner against the house…


Where I grow shade lovers including Epimedium x Rubrum, Ferns, Buxus and Hosta in pots. Looking good eh! Yet for how long?

Version 2
June 2016 Our Garden@19

Now I am very fond of Hosta, although as all gardener’s know so are…


I have tried all the usual treatments, grit, old wool, organic approved slug pellets, a garlic drench that was recommended by a national collection holder, none of them were 100% effective. We always ended up with shredded leaves.

Other gardens visited appear to manage:

The Dutch…


A friends open garden in Malvern…

Version 2

An NGS open garden in Worcester…

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Prince Charles’s National Collection at organically gardened Highgrove (No photography allowed.) However this is…

Version 3
Hosta ‘Prince Charles’

So I have built a wall!


Now I know what you are thinking, especially you Cathy at Rambling in the garden, call that a wall!

It is said that molluscs will not cross copper because it administers a small electric shock. my defensive wall is wooden, artfully painted in ‘Ivory’ to complement the white furniture, topped with self adhesive copper strips sold for the sole purpose of repelling the Hosta enemy. A second defence is small sharp grit just in case the mollusc parachute regiment drop in!


It appears to be working, although, at this time of year it is generally too cold for both the enemy and the gardener..

IMG_1143Early shoots of promise?

What defences do you find works in your garden?


29 thoughts on “I have built a wall!

  1. Positively Trumpian, the petulant one would be impressed. I think the molluscs will just tunnel under, or maybe get in a boat and land up the coast in california. Oh wait, that’s a different wall. Maybe you’ll trigger some local evolutionary process and a later generation of molluscs will be copper-resistant, rendering your defences impotent. Maybe the SAS (snail air service) will attempt a HALO drop from an overhanging tree. Nothing will stop them. It’s enough to keep you awake at night!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope it works for you, Brian. I have to hand pick nightly because the pellets only work in early spring, when there isn’t much greens to eat. I find the larger hostas are less appealing and have little damage. H. Elegans, ‘Francis Williams’ and ‘Sum and Substance’ seem to do the best for me. The tender ones quickly become swiss cheese!


  3. I hate to say this but can the pests get access to the wall at the back and come ion that way once the leaves grow? We have started to use a spray by Grazers which has seemed to work for a couple of years – you do get a little bit if nibbling and the mollusc have to have a taste. Another way is to set your pits in a moat. Place the pots on say a brick and place in a container of water. The slugs can’t swim across. The key though it to not position pots where the things can abseil from above or gain access to the leaves touching something that they can climb up. they are resourceful little blighters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried the Grazers spray last year Sue, it didn’t work any better than the garlic spray. I did think when I had finished building ‘The wall’ wether I should continue the copper up the walls. I may have to increase the defence budget!


  4. Great idea! Look forward to hearing how it works… I have had some success with copper tape, but it does mean that any special plants have to be in pots. I will be trying coffee grounds this year… Good luck!


  5. I’d love to know if the copper works. We have great big snails (but no Hosta) but they seem to be kept in check by sandy soil and dry summers. Also we have glow worms that eat snails and slugs although I doubt whether they would be an efficient biological deterrent. Amelia


  6. Hello Brian, ‘Love and marriage, love and marriage…. go together like a horse and carriage..’ and so I think of hostas and slugs.

    However, a wall brings to mind Pyramus and Thisbe, who found a crack in their dividing wall, I am sure there is no crack in your wall. Very clever of you!!!!



  7. A very impressive wall and gravel moat! Quite tall, if you think about it from the standpoint of a slug 😉 So far I have found that months of 40+ degree temperatures on gritty, totally dry soil sunbaked to who knows how much hotter – yes, it’s mollusc-proof. Now that I am taming the soil with mulches and water, I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time till slugs and snails show up…


  8. Oh, I do like your anti-mollusc wall! I was lucky enough to be given Hosta Prince of Wales by the wonderful queen of hostas Diana Grenfell who also ‘did’ HRH’s national collection for him. It’s a marvellous show stopper of a hosta, when it matures the leaves radiating from the crown span 4-6′ across.


    1. I really don’t know how Highgrove keep their Hosta looking so good. They say it is all about creating a balance with nature, I think it is probably something to do with having enough staff.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I used copper tape round my pot…the hosta looked fantastic, but just towards the end of the year, I noticed a couple of holes, and then a tell tale trail up the shed to where a leaf was touching! Clever slugs and snails. I wish you well with you lovely hostas!


  10. I don’t see any mention of nematodes. I started using them a few years ago and, since then, have had virtually no problems with slugs. For snails I use small, strategically placed and camouflaged plastic tubs – the ones with rims that curl over around the outside. Snails seem to love climbing up and nestling under those rims. A quick check in the morning while the kettle’s boiling delivers a goodly quantity which are ceremonially dropped into a small bucket of highly salted water that I carry around with me. I don’t aim to totally eradicate but just keep the numbers down to what the amphibians, thrushes and hedgehogs can consume.


    1. I use nematodes in the garden but haven’t found them successfully in pots, I try to group all the hosta together on the patio to help make protection easier!


  11. Fingers crossed for you. I hope that you will do an update later in the year Brian. We visited Holehird Gardens near Windermere last July, where they had some relatively unscathed hostas both in the borders and in containers. I did not get the chance to ask what anti-mollusc methods they employ but hope to find out next time we’re there.


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