And they brought lots of their rowdy friends.
I may not have as many bees as last year, but they have returned lured by the power of nectar and pollen. My nemeses, the grasshoppers, also seem to have moved on for the most part which is a blessing. I saw two different bees pollinating zucchini this morning: the metallic sweat bee and Peponapis pruinosa, squash bee. I got a great shot of the green sweat bee, but the squash bee was too fast for me. I had blurs of him or her.
I worked hard in the garden today. I will feel it tonight, but the time spent was pure bliss. Early this morning, the weather was fine with temperatures hovering around 72F. I started in the vegetable garden. Squash bugs are slow in the mornings. One tip about squash and these marauders . . . don’t mulch. I know it sounds counterintuitive, and we’re always saying mulch, much, much, but squash bugs love to hide beneath the stuff. The large leaves of summer squash will shade the ground anyway. Also, another tip from Louise Riotte, who gardened and wrote about it in southeastern Oklahoma–plant squash a bit later than you normally would. She said many of the squash bugs would have moved on. Perhaps, she was right. My tip is not to plant if you’re not going to be in your garden every, single day. Take your soapy water outside and drown those puppies.
After doing some harvesting and such, I went into the lower beds of the back garden and worked like a Trojan. I pulled grass, dug out some cannas which were driving me nuts, and yanked these weeds which smell like tobacco when I pull them. I hate those, and they always want to take over my garden. I dug and pulled, and now the garden looks more presentable in two of the beds. I’ll attack the other two tomorrow or the next day. Since I’m the only one in maintenance here, I am always behind.
Why did I pull the cannas? Once upon a time I hated all cannas. Then, I realized their large leaves were a nice focal point in the garden. They are thick, large and smooth, and many plants don’t have their presence. I especially like the dark cannas with their great, purple foliage and red blooms. The ones I dug were ‘Picasso’ which always looked ratty, and another with no name–again, a rat’s nest. They are gone, gone, gone, and I’m loving the empty spaces.
Speaking of emptiness in the garden, I found another rose with Rose Rosette Disease. Luckily, I caught it early. It was only on two canes. I dug that sucker so fast it would make your head spin. Then, it unbalanced the entire bed so I dug the other rose. Then, I dug two more which weren’t doing well. One was the David Austin ‘Molineux’ that just never took off. Another was one the dogs dug up twice. I don’t remember the name. I also removed some double flowering quinces that hardly ever bloomed. I now have some empty space in that bed. I’m thinking an espaliered fruit tree would be nice in there. I may need to move the ‘Peaches and Cream’ Japanese maple though. I will wait for spring and ponder things in the meantime. I do think a fig would look very nice there. It has such great foliage, and fruits on new wood.
Winter will be a grand time to dream. In the meantime, I’ve placed bricks all along the back of the border to discourage curious puppy dogs who like to lay in dark, rich dirt. Holes are a great opportunities for them and me. The title of this post and the pollinators were inspired by Fairegarden. She also wrote about pollinators today, and my title is inspired by “My Boyfriend’s Back,” from 1963. I went through a stage in 1975, when I was thirteen, where I loved “retro” songs. I especially was into the 60s crash songs. I’m a sick puppy I guess. Oh, and speaking of retro, the Beach Boys have a new cd out, “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” I read a review in a magazine, and I ran over to itunes to buy it. Here is NPR’s take. The cd is very good, but of course, it is. Brian Wilson co-wrote the songs. If they come here on tour, I will go see them again. Yes, I will.
This post got a little off track, but thanks for hanging in there with me and reading. I love pollinators, summer music and possibilities. Don’t you?
Dee… when you have some time (lol)… take that drip emitter up thru the bottom of the drain hole in the pot and bring it up to soil level…they won’t go anywhere that way!!
Janet, The Queen of Seaford
I admire you working out in this heat….be careful!!! I would not have cannas if it were up to me. I dislike the leafrollers that tatter their leaves most of all. When the season is done I really don’t like cutting all the dead foliage back. Why do I have cannas? Cuz somebody I live with LOVES them. If he mentions getting any more of them HE will be the one doing the chores dealing with them. Whew, got that off my chest. 🙂
I am so happy for you and your garden! Really happy. xogail I have been pulling plants out, too.
Marie at the Lazy W
a) YAY for bees in the garden!!
b) beautiful garden, Dee. Every photo, every time.
c) thank you for the blow-by-blow. In addition to wondering how much time other gardeners spend in their Edens, I am infinitely curious about the creative and scientific tonight process-es.
Gosh, thanks Marie. I don’t know how scientific I am. Ha!
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy! Your bees are back! It makes me feel so good when I see people post things in there garden like the pile of weeds, grass and cannas you showed. Sometimes looking at all the blogs is depressing because the photos looks so perfect it makes me feel like my garden looks so ratty. Every now and again its a boost to see a photo like that. I’ve got so many holes myself from heat destroyed plants I really need to sit down and come up with a plan for what I’m going to do.
Don’t work too hard in the garden today and at least take one day this weekend to enjoy your efforts. The garage garden is lovely.
Thank you Randy. If you liked this post, you’ll love the one I’m going to write about letting the side garden go to H-E-double toothpicks. Not intentionally, though. It just happened. I don’t have enough time. Do any of us?
Off track? We never know where gardening will take us, do we, but it is fun to go with it.
Thanks for sharing the bliss in your garden.
That is great news about the bees! Sorry to hear that rose rosette has showed up again. What do you think of the link someone posted? Sounds interesting. I also have a “Molineux” that has simply refused to grow.
Hi Phillip, I went and read Dr. Dirt’s idea. I’d say it’s worth a try. I called in and talked to rosarian, Paul Zimmerman, on Rose Chat on BlogTalkRadio, and he suggested perhaps cutting the cane with Rose Rosette all the way back to the cane’s connection with the plant. He said it had worked a couple of times. It might work because the mites infest the new growth. If you caught it early enough, perhaps, you could the problem before it infects the entire shrub. As for Dr. Dirt’s other ideas, the orange oil might work as a miticide, and the other amendments would build up the bush’s immune system. It’s worth a try if you’re not worried about infecting other shrubs. I’m glad I got rid of ‘Molineux.’ This is no garden for wimpy plants.
I so enjoyed this post. Miss you. XxxxOooo
I miss you too Rosebud.
Donna@Gardens Eye View
Glad to see they have returned…I am surprised with all the heat and drought that ours aren’t suffering more. Your gardens are looking lush and lovely…mine are starting to die back and brown…
It is always nice to have a spot that needs a new plant. I am sorry thought about the diseased roses. Love My Boyfriend’s Back, although it wasn’t retro when I listened to it!
If you find the rose rosette disease on your roses again, you might try the Dirt Doctor’s cure:
Cheryl, I say it’s worth a try. I called in and talked to Paul Zimmerman on Rose Chat on BlogTalkRadio, and he suggested perhaps cutting the cane with Rose Rosette all the way back to the cane’s connection with the plant. It might work because the mites infest the new growth. If you caught it early enough, perhaps, you could the problem before it infects the entire shrub. As for Dr. Dirt’s other ideas, one might be a miticide (the orange oil), and the other would build up the bush. It’s worth a try if you’re not worried about infecting other shrubs. Thanks for the information!
:Hey la, dee la, my boyfriend’s back! What a delightful post, dear Dee. I am so glad you bees are back, and you got rid of stuff that wasn’t pulling its weight in the overall scheme. Sometimes we just have to be ruthless. Crash songs, they weren’t retro to me, but I was also attracted to them!
Margaret (Peggy) Herrman
Dee, love this. we had to move a hive last year. the critters had decided that the underside of a porch was just right (between the floor joists). But they were a danger to anyone passing by (they would attack in self protection). So the floor was dismantled and the hive w/queen were moved to a new home. I do hope they are doing fine.
LOVE the idea of a hole being an opportunity for something new. 🙂 nice, especially since I (and Doc Peg) love change. 🙂 have a good weekend. P