Archive | March 2013

They’re BAAAA-AAAAAAACK!

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Japanese Beetles

Run far, run fast! The Japanese beetles are back. Or possibly they are Chinese Rose Beetles. But what they MOSTLY are is HUNGRY. For my roses. They manage to squeeze inside the buds and eat them from the middle out, completely destroying the blooms before they can even open. There are so many beetles on the rose above, they can’t hide. On mine, you often have to pull the petals apart to find the sneaky little devils! I hate them with the hatred of a thousand burning suns!!  But there are two good things I try to keep in mind. One, they are only here a few weeks, and then they disappear for another year. And two, they are ridiculously easy to hand pick and drop into a dish of soapy water for the Bath Of Death. So no need to use nasty pesticides. I just fill a plastic margarine tub with some water and a heavy squirt of Dawn, and I walk through the gardens plucking the nasty little blighters from every rose I see them on, dropping them into their Day Spa of Doom, and voila. Soon, the roses are safe again.

Do you get rose beetles?  How do you handle them?

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My Favorite “Weed!”

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Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)

All weeds are not created equal. Some of them are noxious, annoying, ugly things that take over your flower beds and make you shake your fist at the sky and use words no really nice gardener would use. At least not in public.  Others are much nicer to find popping up here and there. If I like how they look, or think birds and butterflies will like them, and I don’t need the space for anything else, they get to stay in my garden. Probably my favorite of these would be spiderwort. I love the beautiful blue blooms, and even the foliage is nice, looking very much like strappy daylily leaves. This picture doesn’t do the blue color justice. It isn’t nearly this purple, but more of a real, true blue, which isn’t all that common in the garden. That’s probably why I like it so much.

I think weeds and wildflowers are often under-appreciated, and give a garden a sense of being more like a meadow.  Do you have any that you allow to remain in your beds?