This time of year, Japanese Beetle populations are ramping up. To help control them, I go out before breakfast, while it's cool in the early morning, to drown as many beetles as I can in a bucket of soapy water. It rained overnight on Tuesday, and raindrops on the roses reflected the early morning sunlight. Sights like these make my morning Beetle hunts into a lovely way to commune with the beautiful parts of the garden.
'Comte de Champagne' flowers, beginning to open for the day.
Lovely pink bud on 'Bow Bells' with a nasty beetle burrowing into it.
Japanese Beetles emerged last week, and they will probably be here till some time in August. They love rose flowers, and leaves. They eat, and mate, and eat, and mate .... over and over. Nasty creatures! Every one that I drown or trap is one that ISN'T still out there adding to next year's population.
Japanese Beetles have damaged these flowers on 'Ma Perkins'.
This flower on 'Sir Clough' must be mighty tasty.
There's nothing left of this flower on 'Lafter'
Later in the day, I took a walk with my sprayer of herbicide ... carefully edging our driveway and continuing my war on Nutsedge and Poison Ivy.
Our ancient apple tree sets a few apples every year, but they never ripen. I blame Cedar Apple Rust, and whatever else infects apples. I spray for fungus on my roses, not the apple tree.
This Black Rat Snake was making his way northward from our backyard. I left him alone.
Our neighbor's bees were hard at work on the open flowers on 'Moonlight' and other roses. They are safe here, since I don't use any sort of insecticides in the garden.
Summer weather, hot and humid, has arrived ... after we enjoyed a relatively cool, wet spring. Except for the Japanese Beetles, the roses appear to be relatively happy and are growing well. I will work my way through the garden, deadheading and removing beetle damage, following the shade and working early and late in the day, to avoid the hottest temperatures and strongest sun.