The unknown rose (though likely 'Golden Showers') at the gable end has been blooming magnificently. Each Winter I dig in good amounts of manure together with compost and this constant soil improvement pays dividends. It's likely that the Catmint, Nepeta 'Six hills giant' is less floriferous than if it had been grown 'hard', a bit like Lavender, but the rose is a greedy feeder so something has to give.
I'ts been damp and muggy in recent days, perfect weather for aphids and blackfly and goodness knows there are millions of them at the moment.
In an effort to thwart the little buggers I've had considerable success using the soap and oil mixture pictured above.
Savon Noir is an organic product. A combination of soap, olive, linseed and lavender oil, it seems to do the trick. Diluted to about 2 percent, or 100 ml to 5 litres and applied with a pump spray on a dry day, et voila, problem resolved.
Of course there are hundreds of natural recipes to be found on the net, some work, some don't but always worth a try. To be frank, I'd shift rather than be drenched in soap and linseed oil