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?