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So if you see them (poor eyesight, dark brown) let me know. I'll pay for shipping.

Most of y'all know that I'm a Texas Master Gardener. As in, I'm all edjumacated and stuff about plants, soil, IPM, basic plant diseases and how to eradicate them, etc. Does this mean I have perfect knowledge? Of course not. But! I can give you a qualified "I don't know! But I'll find out." (But most of the problems people in this region have are so common, I typically have an answer. Rarely am I stumped.)

So last night on FB...ah, that's the problem. I need to stay off FB. :D

Last night a guy I went to school with (who I hacked into the school's computer system with and stole the teacher's assignments for our computer class, because he and I knew more about computers than she did at the time and we were horribly bored. I think we spent most classes writing programs to draw butts on people's screens. WHAT I AM SAYING is that this guy knows I'm not a complete dummy.) posted a picture of a bug on a leaf in his garden, wanting to know what it was, what to do, they're swarming, etc.

KEY WORD: SWARM. That means flight. Ahem.

I identified the bug rather quickly because a) it was a squash plant, b) I could see chew marks all over the plant, and the c) bug in question had distinctive coloring. If you guessed Squash Vine Borer, then give yourself a cupcake. In hot climes (like, say, TEXAS) they go through multiple larval stages and right now is when they're emerging as adults and preparing to lay eggs. They're horrid. They completely destroy your plants, and there's only prevention for the NEXT crop once you see adults.

So I quickly a) identified that, since that was his question and b) gave him some simple measures to avoid future infestations with both OTC sprays and an organic solution, because I'm thoughtful like that.

AND SOME DUDE COMES IN BEHIND ME, and pooh poohs everything I've said to him and says no. I know nothing. And clearly that bug is a ladybug larvae. Which...do not have WINGS and do not STAND ON LEGS AND HOP, I should mention. They're lowriders. *trumpet funk*

So I helpfully link errbody to some tamu.edu images of both bugs. (That's Texas A & M's Aggie Hort educational page, for those not in the know.) And this guy begins to give instructions for how to get rid of them - you know, the ladybug larvae and I jumped in quickly and said LADY BUGS ARE VERY GOOD AND THEIR LARVAE ARE EVEN BETTER and I am dismissed as an idiot, or quite possibly a hysterical female, IDEK.

So fuck them, and let their plants die. :) Clearly they will starve in the zombie apocalypse.

This is after a week of busting my ass to create a new garden (after re-wiring my own landscape lights, building new flagstone walkways, eradicating weeds and pests from my garden, transplanting heirloom bulbs that you can't even find anymore and people telling MY HUSBAND how lovely our garden looks. As I'm standing there covered in dirt and sweat and he's just come out to hand me a cold drink after being OUT OF TOWN for 7 days.

Nothing upsets me more than my knowledge, limited though it may be, being disregarded. And then credit given elsewhere.


Ahem. (I've had so many guys HEAR my husband say that I do all of our gardening and still ask him for advice. To my husband's credit, he always says, "I have no idea. Laura?" :)

And on that note, I am going to get some more woolly stemodia planted later today as a ground cover so it can do the work of tilling for me. (Also, you know that wonderful "country-clover" smell? It's not quite grass being cut, and there's a sweetness to it? That's the plant that makes it out here. I looooooooooove walking through my garden in the morning to wake up and smell that. <3) Note: that is a perennial plant for HOT climes. Sorry, Canada.


Jul. 25th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
People were commenting on our lawn (which is a prairie grass that doesn't get mown - I HATE BERMUDA) so lawns and trees are always Men's Territory down south. EYE ROLL.

Well, my next post has all sorts of design info for you, if you're interested? I'm sorry it makes you unhappy, though. :(

(Annual - one anum. One year. And then dead.)

You could put vinegar in a spray bottle and stand out there with your baby on your hip and squirt the weeds with vinegar. That'll kill them and you won't have to worry about your little one. <3
Jul. 25th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
I will definitely have to take a look. We have this big ugly green power box in our lawn and our lawn is a crisscross of lines just beneath the surface, so there was many limitations to where to put my tree... and then I put this triangle in next to the big power box last year in hopes of.. i dunno.. not really hiding it, but maybe pulling attention.. it looks pretty lame though.. i think i'll make it a bit bigger and put in some bigger shrubbery things... im not sure how much coverage i can put next to the box.

Vinegar? AWESOME! That's so easy, thank you. Does it have the same affect on the flowers/shrubs?
Jul. 25th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Try a Knock Out Rose in front of your power box. They get lush, don't need pruning, aren't susceptible to disease, and plus: roses! :D (And they're not really thorny, so the workmen won't be mad at you.)

Vinegar will kill what it's sprayed on because it draws the water out of the plant material. So if you sprayed a patch of grass, that path of grass will turn brown and die. If you sprayed a shrub, those leaves it touched would most likely be affected, but it doesn't go into the "bloodstream" and kill the shrub like, say, Weed-n-Feed broadleaf killers. (Never use that stuff! Trees are broadleaf plants!)
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
AWESOME! THANK YOU! You are so knowledgeable and helpful <3

I definitely need things that are very very low maintenance, the knock out rose sounds perfect. (I googled it after reading your post). I dunno if they will be able to handle the winters up here in Canada. My hardiness zone is 2-3, so it seems like my options with things tend to be pretty tight.
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)

Here it is... untouched, save for the little red flowers my daughter planted in there back in May. Poor poor poor thing. Feel sad for it. It is so sad. I'm sure the neighbours are talking. We live in a duplex, so the yard is kind of halfed all ugly-like. I'm thinking when I dig it up to save it, I'll cut into the sod further and have a bigger triangle that starts back at the back of the boxes. Yeah?
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think that sounds like a great plan! And you might think of digging a wee trench between the bed and the lawn.

flower bed \| grass

That gap (sloped from the bed) will help prevent the grass walking over. It's like an air barrier.

Do I spy day lilies? I love them. And here's a great blog from a lady in Edmonton with her tried and true plantings. A good lot of her flowers are shady plants, though. I would say that if you can grow peonies, you should think about sticking one in! (Her mention about the support is a great plan. Those stakes are found everywhere.) And I'm a huge fan of irises and phlox, btw!
Jul. 25th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
excellent. Thank you!

Yes, that's a little daylily. I'm excited because it looks like it is gonna have lots of flower this year. Last year it had only one (but I only planted it that spring). The other thing is a little Juniper of some type but it looks like it isn't gonna do much... I dunno much about it, though. And the two treeish thingys (yes, Im technical like that) aaaare something and I can't remember their names, shoot. Supposedly they get really tall and I made the mistake of thinking they were something else when I bought them, but we'll see what happens with them. My friend who is a landscaper says they'll probably just die cuz they don't usually live past their second winter around here (I really shoulda had her come with me when I bought all that stuff at the greenhouse). I googled Phlox and it is beautiful. I should look into getting that. Irises are pretty. Oh boy, you should just come shopping with me next spring and help me get it fixed up. I also have a large flower bed that runs the entire front (well our half of the front) and side of our house (duplex) that currently has lovely Daffodils and Tulips in it that come up before the snow is even gone. The people who owned the place before us must have planted them. But then they are ugly for all summer cuz they just die. I'm trying to decide what else to put in there. Actually, my mom has this dark leafed flower in her garden that I think would be pretty but she didn't know the name of it. I took a pic with my phone when I was there, I should get it and show you, maybe you'll know it and if it can be in there. I'm thinking about tarping and filling the box in the front mostly with gravel or woodchips or somtething and then just having two or three bleeding hearts in there. I love bleeding hearts. Thank you for the blog link, I'm saving it.
Jul. 25th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Junipers are pretty hardy, but they take a bit to establish. It takes about 2 years for them to get their root system established, then they take off. Patience, grasshopper! ;D

Those wee green babies on the left look like Arbovitae to me, and I hope they are a dwarf variety! (Those get to 75 feet at maturity. BUT I COULD BE WRONG.)

The fall is actually a FANTASTIC time to put plants in (especially bulbs like tulips.) They get to spend all winter napping and growing roots, then you get a great show in spring.

When I had daffodils, I hated them for the same reason. I'd tie up their leaves in a knot (like, grab the leaves from four or five of them and tie in a knot) so they could still photosynethsize, but they wouldn't steal the show from summer blooms in front of them.

Feel free to send me a pic! If I don't know, I can always find out. :)
Jul. 25th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Excellent things to know, thank you. I'll see if i can get the photo off my phone. I'm technology illiterate.
Jul. 25th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Grrr... so, I usually just send my photos i take with my phone to facebook and them save em onto my computer from there.... Im sure theres better ways to get em onto my computer, but that is what i do.. but for some reason, over the past few days, my phone will not open any webpages. Dumb.

My mom planted them as bulbs from a mix of bulbs from some random greenhouse section of a home depot store. The plant has grown to be about two feet high and a foot or two wide. The leaves are a dark dark green, almost black, with reddish undertone to the stems and whatnot. The leaves are flatish and fairly wide and their edges look kind of serrated. MAN, trying to describe something when you know nothing of plat lingo.. hah.. The flowers are kind of on long vertical stems in the middle of the plant that rise up... they are just blossoming now and are kind of a red/orange colour. I dunno. My gardener friend doesn't know what htey are from the photos I texted her.. hmmm.

I was thinking lilies might be fun to put in behind the tulips and daffodils, but they kind of look messy when they finish, too.

Jul. 25th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
ahhhh... yay, my husband came home from work and fixed my phone.

now you can decide on how bad a job i did describing them, lol.
Jul. 25th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
That is a plant that I love: BUGBANE! Look for this name in nurseries: Cimicifuga racemosa 'Atropurpurea' - that looks like it could be the variety you've got there.

I could be wrong. These aren't native in Texas, so this is from me poring over my gardening books for years and sighing at the leaves. If it is, they take a few years to get established, then are fantastic drought-tolerant plants. :)
Jul. 25th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
WAIT. I didn't focus on that flower. Hmm, now I'm thinking it's a special cultivar of Dahlia! Did your mother plant them recently? Dahlias have to be dug up every fall.

I'm sure someone will come along with a suggestion.

It looks like it's this

Edited at 2012-07-25 10:59 pm (UTC)
Jul. 25th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for looking!! I believe she only planted the bulbs this spring. I will call and ask her. But aren't they so very pretty? They do kind of look like those Dahlias... oh sigh...


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
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