Well thank you so much EVERYBODY for taking the time and trouble to reply to my "crie de coeur" . I have read every bodies' responses with great interest. As a result I have successfully managed to identify the culprit ( so a BIG thankyou for that) and have been given a range of possible solutions and philosophies to explore. Whilst I respect Jim and Patty's positions ....I truly do....I'm afraid I will never be exclusively a wildlife gardener. I am a keen gardener and plants person first and foremost but I have a sympathy and respect for wildlife and would like to find a compromise which will however not entail my resident bugs being allowed to make a takeover bid for exclusive rights to my whole garden. Consequently I find myself very much in tune with Verdun ( and also Lindsay4's second post). I believe I have at least equal rights with the local wildlife ,to enjoy my outdoor space and my cherished plants.. So with that in mind, I have used a systemic insecticide on special geraniums in sacred key spots in my back garden..( at dusk so as not to affect my beloved bees,ladybirds or hover flies, who , I understand, can still enjoy the nectar unharmed in the morning)....but the majority of my geraniums (mostly in my front garden) remain untouched for bugs to enjoy. Inspired by Lindsay I will grow a second batch of sacrificial nasturtiums in a space set aside for wildlife but I'm afraid I will use systemic spray on some in prime spots where I wish to enjoy the flowers. I am not trigger happy but I will stand up for my rights to enjoy my garden whilst at the same time allowing and even creating a place in my garden for my uninvited ' guests'.I would be interested in the views of the ' wildlife' lobby on this position.
Lindsay4 said it's all about balance. I couldn't agree more, if you get the balance right then the garden will look after itself. However using chemicals to kill bugs destroys the balance. Don't think I'm judging you, but because what does it matter what I think? I personally have found that I don't have any greenfly on my roses, I don't have any, that I notice at least, leaves eaten by slugs. I don't even see big slugs, I find the odd little tiny slug in the grass but I certainly don't see those 4 inch long ones that I see on a night across the road anywhere in my garden. I have so many birds, including masses of sparrows, and more kind of Tits that I can name that I don't have a problem with bugs. If you spray chemicals there will be collateral damage, that is the poisoned bugs will be eaten by frogs, hedgehogs, hoverflies, ladybird, garden birds , etc., and will inevitably succumb. We have dwindling numbers of so many of our birds, sparrows were once so common. If you can look yourself in the mirror in the morning knowing you've contributed to the demise of our British wildlife then so be it. But when you cry about judgement I think it's your own judgement that you're concerned about.
Anyway. Balance. Yes git it right but remember using chemicals WILL upset that balance. AND they persists.
When I moved in I did feel I had to resort to Roundup for couch grass and Astrantias which were everywhere. But I found I couldn't justify it when I saw my dogs eating grass that may have received a bit of wind blown weedkiller and when I thought that bit of couch could have been eaten by a caterpillar which was then fed to a wild bird's chick, I had to say enough! It was me who was the judge me who I had to look in the eye in the morning, me who had to live with potentially harming some other living creature. So, no, NOTHING, I put in my garden is worth that. No plant I buy is worth me not being able to live with myself! And I love my garden. I love my plants. I've got an HND in horticulture, I've sent my life in Horticulture. Don't think becaseu I don't 'protect' the plant I don't love it. I just have a bit of perspective. My garden isn't in a glass bubble on a shelf in a museum, it's part of the world and I have a responsibility to that world. A plant is a plant, it's food for something. Deny that and you've got a big fight on your hands. I prefer to be happy, I don't wont to live my life as Captain Ahab thanks.
Well, I didn't mean to go on like that. Happy Gardening.
People on a wildlife garden forum don't like some of the wildlife??? Missing the point, are we not?