Don't worry mate, we've got your back

“It’s a jungle out there. A dangerous place. Get my drift? If you’re going to survive out there then you’re going to need some help. You’re not going to make it on your own, babes.

” A sweet little plant like you, before you know it you’ll be compost.  No, you need protection, dollface. Stick with us and we’ll take care of you.”

Life is hard at the best of times. But if you’re as wussy and pathetic as most of the things that I grow then it’s a nightmare. An aphid just has to look at my tomatoes and they’re wilting. An aphid! I ask you! Whiteflies, blackflies, anycolouryoucanthinkof flies, you name it, my vegetables invariably have a bizarre and all-too-often fatal attraction to things that will do them no good.

Like a foolish girl who always falls for the bad guy – the one who treats her mean, roughs her up and leaves her in bits – my veggies practically hang their bloomers out at any passing bug, whoring themselves for the attention no matter how much they know it’s going to hurt them in the end. “I know the’yre bad for me, but they want me! I just love the attention!”

Clearly if my vegetables are going to be this stupid then they’re going to need all the protection I can provide. Like an overbearing sugar daddy I’m going to have to pull out the stops.

That’s where these tough guys in the pic above come in. Sure they don’t look hard to you or me, but trust me, if you’re a whitefly then you’re soiling your buggy pants at the sight of them. That bad boy at the front? That’s a French Marigold, goes by the name of Red Safari. And the big lad next to him? Practically bulging out of his pot? Another Marigold. His mates call him…um…Dainty Marietta.

Between them they’ll deter blackfly and whitefly, so if I pop a few of them in the greenhouse then even my uber-hopeless tomatoes will be in with a chance of making it through to fruitfulness. And last but by no means least, those floppy-looking fellas with the droopy leaves are the daddies of them all: Pot Marigolds, they’ll attract all sorts of things that eat aphids for breakfast. And you can eat the petals! And they look pretty!

What more could you want? Good looking, well hard and very very tasty. Surely the Drooling Vegetables of the plant world…?

On the ipod while protecting my tomatoes: The Stone Roses / Going Down. Yes, I’m talking to you Mr Aphid. You, my friend, are indeed going down.