Last night we got a huge dump of rain in about 15 minutes - sufficient to perk everything up this a.m. It is still very humid and hot and the air seems to be textured with the nasty bits of industry. The poor trees must be working very hard this a.m. to filter things for us.
The cone flowers - Echinacea have really been hit hard with some sort of insect this year - a first for me. And, obviously a bit of a rarity, because most of the Google entries and my text books only combine the words disease, insects and Echinacea with the words "free from". It also seems that not all the Echinacea have been plagued by this bug. At first glance it looks like the species seem to be fine, it is the newer (and very expensive) varieties that have been nailed. Also, newer blooms on these plants seem to be OK - which might mean that the insects' life cycle is finished for the year, or they've found greener pastures. Would be interested to hear if anyone else has had this problem.