Monday, August 23, 2010

Who you gonna call? The bad, the good, the IPM...

So the other day when I was outside,
I went over to look at the apple tree.
Oh my* (*or insert words of similar surprise),
look at all those white things and all those black spots.
What are they? The bad.

(Click on the photos to see everything nice and close.)

Then I looked on a pot near the affected plants.
Whoa, Nelly, what have we here?
Could this be my real problem?
I saw one, then another, and another...
(I know, I know, there's only one in this picture,
but trust me, there were many of these critters!)

These were lady beetle nymphs!
Not the problem, but the solution, the good,
to my problem (millions of the tiny white bugs)!
And they were changing right before my eyes.

Below are a few changlings (I say changlings, you say pupae)
in the potted tree.
How many do you see?
(I'll give you a hint, there are more than three.)

Here's one that reminded me of an armadillo's shell,
or the protective armor Ra and his army use in Stargate.

Here's another good guy/girl going after the guilty parties.

And this is an Italian prune, with a few nymphs and changlings on it.

After closely looking at this photo,
it seems some of those are outer shells
that have been discarded, like snake skin.
What do you think? Do you know how the nymphs transform?

Oh, yes, part of the title was 'IPM', Integrated Pest Management.
Here's a link to a quick read on it.

On the afternoon I discovered my numerous nymphs,
I was able to share the information with
a neighbor who stopped by to talk plants.
She was quite happy to learn what they were
because she had seen some in her yard too.
Have you seen them in your yard?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Cereus matter

Epiphyllum oxypetalum
aka Cereus Cactus,
Dutchman's Pipe Cactus

(Please click on any of the photos to see them full size.)
As night falls, the blooms begin.

Within a few hours, they are fully open.

Say 'Ahhhh'.

Day breaks, and the blooms continue.

Close up, no flash.
Compare to below,

Close up, with flash.

And again, close up, with flash.

Compare to close up, no flash, below.

In all Cereus-ness,

Close up, blooming during the day, with a pollinator.

Hope you have a Cereus-ly good weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

GBBD - August 2010

Happy Garden Blogger Bloom Day, August 2010!

Phlox and white spider
(Please click on the images to enlarge them.)

Elephant Garlic bloom peeking out from a
Smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple')
Growing Garlic in the Pacific Northwest

What's missing here?
That would be the blooms the deer munched.

Lovely lily

A 'river' of Rose campion and daisies

The end of the 'river' where the plants all fall down,
and the weeds grow. (I have a lot of work to do!)

Rose climbing on arbor.
(Oops, think it needs a bit of a trim?)

Pink blooms from Sedum

Poor little bee...

Another bee hanging off Monarda.
It seems I am suddenly finding dead bees.
That makes me sad.

Nicotiana 'Hot Chocolate'
Now that makes me smile.

Seed pod from Stewartia placed on leaves

Gaultheria procumbens
Nice little ground cover

Snapdragons with Hydrangea
So much color, I gotta wear shades!

See more blooms around the world by visiting
Carol at May Dream Gardens.

Happy GBBD everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Bee covered in pollen, Hibiscus flower
(Please click on any of the images to enlarge them.)

I've just returned from another trip to the East Coast to visit family, my roots if you will. My siblings and I inherited the gardening gene from both Mom and Dad. They always had vegetable gardens, grapevines, and plenty of flower beds when we were growing up. I think back and recall that they had 'garden rooms' before 'garden rooms' were invented/coined/developed.

Mom, who inspired me to garden as a youngster, is my hero, as she bravely and boldly battles pancreatic cancer. Part of her tenacity shows as she refuses to stop gardening, weeding, and harvesting her vegetable garden while chemicals course through her, a brutal effort to stem a growth that is relentless.

She continues to find beauty every day in all that surrounds her.
Here are some of the images of those things.

Rose Hips

Mourning Doves


Seagull Sipping


'Buck' Moon (Algonquian name)

Wishing you peace and love,