Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sights From the Garden

It's no surprise to you that I spent a good part of Wednesday out in the garden.  I always have my iPhone in my pocket when I'm outside, to take photos and for my works-from-home husband to find me if needed.  Come along, and I will show you some of the sights.

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.

'Sharifa Asma'


'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.

14 comments:

  1. That first pink rose is beautiful! Those bugs are yucky!!! My rose bushes look nice and green but are not near blooming yet.

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    1. I have to use tunnel vision this time of year, to focus on the good stuff in the garden and screen out the ugly ... except for when it comes to drowning beetles. Then, I want to zero in on the little suckers and get as many of them as I can. They're chilled and sluggish at sunrise, and it's easy to get most of them.

      The differences between different parts of the continent amaze me. Enjoy your roses when they bloom, and be sure to share pics.

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  2. Love the droplets on the roses, but darn those beetles!

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    1. The raindrops were like little jewels in that early morning light, so pretty. The beetles ... not so much. Nasty critters.

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  3. Beautiful 'Sharifa Asma', but those beetles are a nuisance and hard to destroy.

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    1. I do what I can against the beetles, which doesn't amount to much in the end. At least it makes me FEEL like I'm making a difference.

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  4. Raindrops are always pretty on roses, it makes them look decked in diamonds.

    I don't like the looks of those dang beetles or what they do to your beautiful roses.

    I too, have to get out early before it gets too hot out.

    Happy Summer Gardening ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Early morning is the best time in the garden!!

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  5. Love that you focus on all the good, Connie. You have to! In a perfect world, snakes would eat Japanese beetles, right? ;-)

    Shirley

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    1. I love your optimism! Unfortunately, there's nothing that's effectively evolved to eat Japanese Beetles in large enough quantities to make a dent in their population. I guess that's why they can be a plague of Biblical proportions in some years. Gotta focus on the positive ... it's a healthier way to be.

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  6. All of your roses are gorgeous! I think your perseverance of collecting the beetles must make a dent in next years population, and spare a few of this years roses. We don't use any insecticides either, so we rarely get an edible piece of fruit even though we have peach, apple, cherry and pear trees. The birds seem to enjoy the feast, and the trees also provide them nesting space. :)

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    1. I like to think that I'm making a difference by collecting as many beetles as I can, but it honestly feels like spitting into the wind sometimes ... a drop in the bucket, literally. :) I use my morning beetle expeditions almost as a game of skill and dexterity. See how many beetles I can tip into the bucket without disturbing and losing others nearby. Gotta do what I can to keep it interesting.

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  7. So I'm prepared to be told I'm nuts.... I too have spent the last few years collecting jb's in a jar and feel like it was a total waste of time since I couldn't always get out everyday and the rose canes looked like jb lollipops. DIS-GUSTING! I have less than 2 dozen rose bushes and last year decided I was going to use traps just long enough to let the 2nd flush of buds bloom, but ultimately decided to prune all my roses.(Aside from the few potted roses on my deck right outside my door, which seem to be spared for the most part) I brought in some of the closed buds and was really pleased with how many opened. They're not having my roses. Do you think this will reduce the population, or will they just eat the leaves as ferociously? I'll look forward to the fall blooms at any rate.

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    1. You're not nuts at all. We all do whatever we can. I use a multi-pronged approach to beetle control. Morning hunts with the bucket of soapy water (which allows me to spend my morning in the garden), traps, AND pruning my roses back to remove the buds and flowers that lure beetles into the garden. I figure that I'm not going to get flowers in June and July most years because of the beetles, and like you, I don't want them to have 'em. This is also a good opportunity to shape the plants to go into late summer and fall in better form. I have been working in my English Garden for the past three days ... pulling weeds, trimming the plants, and applying a fresh layer of mulch. There are not flowers now, it's satisfying to see that the garden itself looks fabulous.

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