Friday, May 29, 2009


I fell like I’m pretty in tune with what is going on in my garden, but there is nothing like spreading mulch or doing a little supplemental watering to really get me noticing things. Like for example what’s been eating on my yucca (above)? It was very destructive, only the very newest small leaves are not sliced through. So sad.

This happens every year, the sacrificial early canna leaves. Once the plants get a little taller there are no problems but the bottom leaves are fair game.
I gave up on the leaves of the Petasites japonicus a long time ago. It’s behind the bamboo stock tanks and the only way you can see it is to climb back there (which I did recently while pulling bindweed). I think of it as a natural alternative beer traps for the slugs. If they can munch to their hearts content on this why travel into the rest of the garden? Are slugs logical like that? I love the bright fresh green of the leaves on my new (this year) Rose of Sharon, especially against the dark rich compost!
And the color of the Samual Blue hostas is looking really good right now too. Last year I was really happy with the way the black Mondo grass I planted between these guys sort of feathered through, the colors were so great together. This year the hosta are so happy they’ve grown taller and wider and hidden the Mondo. Hard to be upset about that I guess, but I do miss the combination.
Isn’t the little bloom on this Sweet Flag, Acorus gramineus, ‘Ogon’ just fabulous! I’ve never seen it like this before. There are several but this is the only one I could manage to get in focus.
I also noticed that my inherited peonies are looking a lot pinker this year. Last year they were almost white. What’s going on here? The first year, when the peony started coming up, I decided I didn’t like where it was. But wanted to keep it, so I moved it. I did not do such a great job! Now I have the this one where I wanted it...
And this one where the original plant was, looks like I missed a little? This will be the first time they have both bloomed.
Lastly, this fell out of the sky yesterday! I found it on the patio; Andrew says it’s a hummingbird nest. It’s made of dryer lint, twigs and moss. There are also bits of egg shell inside; I hope that the former occupants are safe. I feel so bad for the little guys who lost it, all that work and they have to start over again!


  1. Looks like those little creatures came for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well... so many holes. I hope you could find a way to get rid of them soon. As for myself, I spray water based mosquito insecticide.

  2. I just discovered something is eating off leaves from my zucchini and tomatoes (tomatoes!) too. I've seen birds eat small tree leaves and blossoms in early spring, but this is a bigger critter, I think. Hope the poor zucchini can's pretty small still.

    Love that pretty blue hosta. I put a blue one in this spring and it's turning green. Not what I needed.

  3. Thanks for the tip Stephanie, I might have to try it! BTW I think they also came back for dessert.

    So you are growing veggies Jane! I noticed this morning something was munching on my radish leaves. Which are in a stock tank 2.5 ft off the ground in a concrete driveway...what god fearing insect is going there? Crazy....

    Last year I believe I actually washed the blue off a few of my Hosta! I read that the powder that makes silver and blue plants appear so can actually be washed or rubbed off...has anyone else heard this or am I crazy????

  4. Weird about your leaf holes, you'd think if it were slugs/snails they'd attack the hosta, but yours looks perfectly unmarred. Hm. Can you go out at night with a flashlight and see if you can catch any in action? Doesn't look like cutworms. Good luck! I love black mondo grass but have never planted it. Will you move yours or just enjoy it when the hostas have died back? It's evergreen, right? I'm amazed that your divided/moved peonies bloomed so well. I think I killed mine off by doing the same thing. Hm. Oh yes, I agree that your hummingbirds lost their nest. Poor things! I hope it wasn't a raccoon raid... Those nests always seem to dangle precariously from some really awkward place. I found a disused one right over the path to our front door once. Crazy!

  5. Hey Karen...the hosta are in a different part of the garden. The plants with the really bad holes are back in what I call the jungle and it stays consistently cool and moist back there, exactly where the slugs are happy. Not to say it isn't shady and cool where the hosta are but it's just not quite as friendly of area. I have been very very lucky and not had a slug attack of any proportion on the hosta (fingers crossed). Black mondo is one of my fav's - it's expensive but multiplies rapidly and is happy being divided so you can quickly propagate it. I'll probably leave it be since as you mention it is evergreen. It will provide interest when the hosta are gone and they still get to show time together as the hosta is coming up. You should plant some, it is one of my cast iron plants that nothing bothers. Good stuff! It's now the 3rd summer after I moved the peony, so they've had a little time to heal. This heat isn't making them very happy though!

  6. What a rude critter, eating the yucca! I haven't ever seen that.
    As obnoxious as it is when they chew up your plants, I think cannas are one of the best plants they could eat, since it ends up making good cut out leaf patterns when they eat a hole straight through a rolled up leaf. My early cannas are chopped right in half thanks to a certain excitable dog who snaps off the tips of new growth by jumping around.
    The acorous bloom is beautiful, and also a little scary, a little like a snake poking its head out.

  7. Console yourself about the nest. The birds were probably finished with it.

    I meander around all the time trying to figure out what is eating my plants. Mostly I just meander though, and don't really do anything concrete about the situation.


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