My Garden of Eden and a Plague of Locust

 A corner of my garden.


My father has an unexplained disdain for squirrels and rabbits who dare to enter his garden.  This is such a mystery to his family because he is an environmental engineer who fights to save our Earth! One day we came home to find rakes and shoes way up in the 20 foot pine tree.  Daddy shrugged his shoulders and said, “Squirrels!”  He had been throwing things at the poor defenseless squirrels to get them away from his garden!  My parents moved to a new house and my mother had to threaten daddy to stop tossing lawn furniture at the rabbits  because he was making a bad impression with the new neighbors.  Well the laugh was on him when he set out a “Have a Heart” trap.  The neighbors had snuck over and put their Easter rabbit decorations into the trap!  He was so excited to have caught the buggers! When he went out to look, he found the ceramic bunnies dressed in their Easter finest. He was embarrassed, but we all have had a great laugh at his expense since then. I suppose I have inherited more than I thought from my father.  I have been WAGING WAR with locusts!


When we moved to this tropical paradise I was thrilled to get started on a tropical garden.  However, we had not been able to find a house we loved (and could afford on a teacher salary) with a garden that we loved too. We settled into an adorable terrace house near the hippest village that we can walk to. However, I had to settle for grey tiled front and back yards . Ugh!  Never mind, I got creative and started a great potted container garden. I shop at the nurseries, re-pot, prune, fertilize, water, cut, trim, and sweat in the tropical heat to make my plants grow on the dreaded tile yard.  I have mini palms, frangipanis, heliconias (like birds of paradise), water lilies, roses, lotus flowers and bougainvillea to name a few.  These plants just thrive here so through my blood, sweat and tears I now have my own little Garden of Eden on ugly grey tiles. But the wrath of nature is upon me and I have been plagued by locusts lately!


    See the baby locust!  Their parents are HUGE!


These monsters are systematically eating their way through my hard work and pride.  I know I should be environmentally friendly and just let nature take its course, but I find myself burdened with my father’s curse!  When I have to water the plants or work in the garden, hundreds of little tiny baby locust fly at my face. The big four inch adult ones really hurt if they fly into you! I curse, swat, shake, spray and basically throw a temper tantrum as I race around the garden like a woman possessed.  My husband thinks I am nuts as I run screaming, “Do something, kill them!” My children just walk away as I hollar for them to help me swat them all away.  Nothing seems to be working and now my gorgeous plants are being eaten down to nothing.  The butterflies, birds and dragonflies are dwindling as the flowers disappear.  I finally resorted to evil measures and just got out the spray and let them all have it!  The bigger ones just flew off and were back the next day.  I have read that their skin is so thick that they are hard to kill with insecticide.  They just keep laying more and more eggs and I can’t get rid of them. I don’t want to use insecticides because I know how horrible they are for the environment and also since my gorgeous dogs and kids go out there daily. I want to save my garden, the environment and quite frankly my marriage! Does anyone have suggestions of how to get rid of these pesky critters without nasty poisons or going insane?




  1. Tam said,

    May 4, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Sorry bud, no suggestions on how to rid yourself of the locust plague… but was happy to see a couple of my former Malaysian plants still thriving and surviving, I think ; )

    I love your garden of Eden in Bangsar! Great place to drink some G and T’s!

  2. globalanni said,

    May 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Yes, your plants are thriving! Bridget, Michelle, Lynn and I sat out there with the boys the other night BBQing with some G & T’s. Your name popped up as usual! We miss you!

  3. Heidi said,

    May 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I can’t believe how well your graden has blossomed since we first sent the orchids to your house in a taxi. The patio looks fabulous, I hope you get the buggers. Wish I were there to enjoy the G&T. I guess we will have to enjoy on the beach soon. Miss you!

  4. Suzana said,

    April 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I like ur garden. It gives me some garden ideas. Thank you.

  5. mac said,

    May 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Great garden – and pics – and thanks for the like! 🙂

  6. adinparadise said,

    June 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

    LOL @ those trapped ceramic bunnies. Naughty neighbours. 😉 Your garden looks lovely, but locusts would really scare me too.

  7. June 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Oh, my container garden is getting consumed by slugs – and I feel the same fury. Hope your beautiful tropical paradise is saved from locusts somehow — and thanks for following Heifer 12 x 12!! Sounds like you are a fellow adventurer, for sure!!

  8. Ed Spadoni said,

    September 14, 2012 at 6:05 am

    The best answer a non-gardener can give: go plastic or silk! Sorry. Lovely photos though. Thanks for the follow.

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