As promised yesterday, today we examine the ugly underbelly of my gardens. It is real seedy (pun intended), sort of like what Times Square in NYC looked like pre-Rudy Giuliani.
So as a warning, it ain’t going to be pretty, but … just maybe you can find it in your heart to offer me your support and more importantly, specific advice so we all don’t have to witness this again.
We’ll start things off nice so you can slowly take in all of the carnage to follow:
Awwww … a sleeping baby deer. How cute. Where the f is Ted Nugent when I need him? I kid, but the deer have now taken to napping right in the middle of the backyard and it makes me nervous. They are getting too comfortable.
It’s like Dawn of the Dead with all the zombies slowly approaching with nothing other than destruction in mind.
Speaking of destruction, as I mentioned yesterday, the deer literally ate off every single flower bud off of my precious Daylilies that are right next to my front steps. These blooms are otherworldly and they stole the dream from me. The front beds were typically off limits to the deer but they have crossed that line so time to put some sort of plan into action.
Yeah Aphids! They haven’t really damaged the Asclepias Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) but they are covering all three plants. The interesting thing is that there are also ladybugs on these plants so I figure, for now, to let nature take its course. Good idea? Or do I hose them all off?
Nice, right? I really know how to grow ’em. We had a severe drought so that explains some of it but this Ilex ‘Blue Princess’ was planted at the exact same time as the one below which looks OK.
This is the interior of a Phlox ‘David’ and this happens almost every year. The leaves brown up from the ground and work their way up the plant. From my research, it appears to be from some sort of fungi that splashes on the plant from rainfall or watering. Oh really, these f’ers haven’t seen much rain the past few months. Doesn’t appear to be powdery mildew either which is the Phlox biggest nightmare. I need answers.
Like a hot dog, I am on a roll …. with destruction that is. Another Ilex, this one is ‘Bennetts Compact’ that decided to just give up and let herself go. Any possibility this is due to the fact that it is planted near the foundation? Two of the three I planted two months ago look just like this. It is an awesome view when you walk up my front steps to enter the house. “He must have a green thumb” (wink wink).
I found these two lifeless Japanese Beetles piled on top of each other on the Basil. They are either deceased from overindulging or they just finished enjoying each other and were too much in the “afterglow” to be able to move. Seriously, how do I handle these guys? The “drop them in soapy water” thing means they have already done damage.
Yum! I have red tomatoes but they appear to be falling off the vine too soon before they can develop.
The browning of the foliage on the Dwarf Alberta Spruce has me mildly concerned (considering all else going on) and I am hoping it is a temporary blip. Do I cut it out or let things correct themselves?
Finally, similar to the Phlox, the Rudbeckia are getting black spot on the lower leaves with them all eventually browning and falling off. They are blooming just fine but some just look nasty up close and pulling off the dead leaves feels like a hopeless task. Good times!
Hopefully I’ve made you all feel better about your own gardens or hopefully we can all learn something from my intelligent readers, so we can be more proactive in the future. All of you who provide feedback (even if you laugh at me) will be rewarded handsomely in a future post.