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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #026
August 14, 2023
The Sweetness of August
I confess to not feeling as enthusiastic as usual
when I sat down to create this newsletter:
I would rather be in the garden….
digging, weeding, planting and
… just enjoying it -
but there are some things
I think you might like - or need - to know.
So, yes, this is late
but I’ll bet you haven’t been sitting in front of a screen,
anxiously waiting for my August newsletter. -:)
August is the month of glorious clouds
…. they form, then disappear in shadow or light
… a painter’s delight…
I spend a lot of time taking photos of clouds and flowers, of course.
to paint on those cold sleety days in the winter
- take photos every day because
our gardens change every day.
My tree lily.
... almost 7 feet tall this year
with two stems and
at least 6 blooms on each
"There is no gardening without humility.
Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars
to the bottom of the class
for some egregious blunder."
Vacations can leave us exhausted
… planning, packing, the journey, the excitement
but for me.
it really was worth it all
to spend time
with my beloved family
Reading my book :
"The Little Bird Who Fell From the Sky"
(If you don't have a copy yet, there is still time)
Go to my Home page - link below
We think Lucy liked the pool.
... she swam and floated around
but was also happy
to be wrapped in a towel
and warm up in the sun
... she wasn't too thrilled with the roar of the ocean waves -
"I'm outta here"...says she
...and now - ready for a nap
Back to Weeds, Bees & Beasties
Away for a week and look at this thistle !!!
Can you see the nasty Japanese Beetle hiding in my rose??
A jar of soapy water,
then flick them in - but be careful,
they are cagey
and will fly away
if you miss the flick.
Here's our little Chippie waiting for his seeds.
Better to feed them than having them eat the roses..
.. sometimes he or she leaves petals on the stone
for Jen when she brings seeds
Lucy waits for Chippie... who does not want to be her friend....
A gorgeous Monarch in our Budleia...
how special is that...?
We also had Red Admirals ...
Coneflower Rosette Mite:
CONEFLOWER ROSETTE MITE causes the cone to push out
tufted flower parts (rosette-like)
Caused by the "eriophyid mite" (eriophydae)
- the only mite with 2 pairs of legs
and living inside developing flowers
by feeding at the base by puncturing plant cells
and sucking our the contents.
This rude little mite is spread by wind, animals or birds.
CUT AND DESTROY THE FLOWER HEADS -
NO NEED TO DESTROY THE WHOLE PLANT
Aster Yellows in Coneflowers
ASTER YELLOWS SYMPTOMS in CONEFLOWERS
Outer petals form a ring of little green,
curved petals around deformed coneflower heads
This is often confused with Rosette Mite
but this damages the whole plant- not just flowers as in rosette mite
There is no cure
- once infected, the whole plant stays infected
PULL AND DESTROY THE WHOLE PLANT AND ROOTS
… this AY pathogen cannot survive outside the plant
so does not stay in soil
This next image shows the difference
between the Rosette Mite
and Aster Yellows
Bald-faced Hornets can be nasty
These hornets, in the wasp family, built a nest
In our dwarf apple tree on the boulevard
- these nests are usually built high up in tall trees,
far out of the reach of humans.
Just not this time.
Bald-faced hornets are large (15 to 20 mm or longer)
- with white markings on face
and 200 - 400 workers per nest
but there can be as many as 700 to 1,000
Photo by The Bee Man - Pittsburgh
Bald-Faced Hornet - Photo Gary Alpert - Harvard U. Cornell.edu
Bald-faced Hornets can be aggressive and vigorously defensive as well as a threat to humans who get too close to their nest.
They can sting repeatedly without dying.
Bald-faced hornets can remember faces so if a human inadvertently returns to the nest area, they will patiently wait for their target and even fly past other humans to sting the repeat "invader".
They can squirt or spray venom from the stinger into the eyes of those who get too close to their nest.
The venom causes immediate watering of the eyes and temporary blindness.
YIKES...I had no idea until I had been stung on two different days while doing some summer pruning.
The sting was very painful and swelled immediately… fortunately for me, no other symptoms.
Because the nest was so close to the sidewalk where folks walk dogs and kiddos, we had to have the nest sprayed, while making sure to kill the queen.
Sad, but human safety was paramount.
Our neighbour made sure the area was blocked until the hornets were gone for a few days
PS: Although the nest has been gone for almost 2 weeks,
yesterday, in the garden, one of them flew toward me
and brushed by my shoulder…an accident, right?
And yet, today, on my front porch
(25 feet from where the nest was)
I was about to open the door,
and one flew at me, brushing my cheek…
I could feel the ‘breeze’ from it….
I am not usually a fearful person
but this was rather unsettling.
Our local Horticultural Society made signs
for members to leave in gardens
to say the person who lives where the sign shows up,
is a Garden Hero.
I am lucky enough to receive one.
But the reality is, I am merely a caretaker
of the blooms and blossoms
that overtake my garden in spite of me.
I plant what I love; the rest is divine intervention.
I love that-
...and now, it is my turn
to pass the sign to another Garden Hero.
This is my friend and neighbour Noriko Merrett
who is an amazingly talented gardener
who fills her garden with love.
The Buckhorn Festival of the Arts
What a great place to see fabulous art..
And some shameless self-promotion,
my art classmates has entered some of our work
in the completion, open to all
Come see and meet lots of artists
and see our work in the competition.
My painting - "Mirror Man" mixed media
"Last Rose of Summer" coloured pencil sketch
Until Next Time....
Lucy says stay cool,
take naps -
and be sure to get lots of treats
and some extra loving
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