At last - a slug to love. Clearing out a large, old, clay flower pot last weekend I found that a colony of ten leopard slugs had made it their home. They are handsome creatures but they have particularly sticky slime. The best thing about them is that they eat other slugs, and dead and decaying plants but do not damage healthy, living plants. Their mating habits are unusual - two slugs climb a tree or other structure and then hang, intertwined, from a branch on a thick strand of mucus. After mating each one lays a clutch of transparent eggs - the slugs each have both male and female organs. They live in damp, dark places and need to keep their bodies moist in order to breathe, so encourage them to protect your garden plants by providing a log pile or a pile of damp bricks or stones.
Following the winter weather, a small section of a 20-year-old garden wall had sagged a bit, so I decided this week to have a go at rebuilding it. Not normally worth a mention here, except that the wall in question was that great asset to any wildlife garden - the dry stone wall. In repairing a small section I discovered two adult male slow worms, one juvenile slow worm, countless invertebrates, a few mouse holes, a former wasp nest and a juvenile great crested newt not yet old enough to breed in the pond. So, if you haven't already got one, dry stone walls make a great addition to any wildlife garden. Obviously, Shelly limestone aside, we don't have a lot of stone locally but avoid the environmental impact of imported stone and go for locally recycled stone instead.