Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Time for the Bucket of Death

Grrrrrrrr.  The Japanese Beetles have arrived.  Day one, I run for my gloves and pick them off, throw them on the ground and step on them.  Day two, I run for my gloves, pick them off and squish their little bodies between my fingers.  Day three, who has time for gloves?  I'm ready to make their day barehanded.  Fortunately I came to my senses in time to get the bucket of death (any pot that will hold water).  Found that skipping the step of adding soap to the water just speeds the process.  I hold the bucket under their sorry bodies and tap the branch/flower/leaf that they are either eating, pooping, or having sex on - they fall into the bucket where they spend a short while working on their backstroke before they expire.

How apt that I illustrate this post with a new rose to me called Grimm Brother's Fairy Tale.  It is a beautiful rose, with the most amazing scent.  It starts out orange and turns a marvelous coral pink.  I'm very impressed with the clean shiny leaves.  As you may know, we cannot use any pesticides or fungicides at all.  So it's a real testament to the quality of this rose. 

If only they'd use their powers for good.  Look how nice their beetlely-bits look next to the petals of my rose.

Stepping back, here it is with an old salvia.

 And, they seem to have found the Kitaibelia vitifolia.  Fortunately I found him too.

My hosta are growing very well this year.  I've moved them so many times, their tags have gone astray.  Now, I know they are all different varieties, but I ask you, don't these blue hosta all pretty much look the same?

Now to the vegetable garden.  My idea was to have sunflowers in the centre.  The cutworms liked the idea so much, they ate them.  So instead I've planted a banana. 

The other side - a post-weed shot late in the day.

My first tomato.  Yes, I know just a small one, but it's been a pretty cool growing season.

And to the backyard.  Along the fence there's Aralia cordata, that I'm losing patience with.  It goes all ugly at the bottom towards the end of the year.  This garden is just too small to have a plant that under performs at any point in the growing season.  I've planted, and you probably can't see it, a tiny Butterfly Japanesse Maple, just next to it.  The Brugmansia is chugging along.  And, Hosta pineappleupsidedowncake is a piece of fabulosity.

 The aruncus is coming to the end, and look, another blue hosta!  The sad stick-like plant is a Brugmansia in training.

And, also from the same garden, here's my crazy Hyrdrangea and a very sweet little clematis that is covered in blooms.

I didn't think I'd have any blooms on this odd-ball variety of hydrangea quercifolia, but look, I've got one and it's over my head.
 The last of the digitalis.  And below a Schizophragma hydrangeoides.

These two buds were taken from the same Lemon Wave Hydrangea.

Back to the front yard, the thermopsis was taller than ever - flirting with the Persicaria polymorpha.

Clematis durandii making time with Pp.

 Now if you were slightly walleyed, you'd see the French provincial thing I was going for with these colours.

On the other side of the bed - street side, it's a good year for the Inula.   Seems to have avoided attack by a mite like creatures that eats away at the centre of the blossom this year.

While not all that hot yet, the sun has been unbelievably bright.  Look at how Route 66 has faded after an especially sunny day.

Just saw buds at the top of my Heptacodium.  Too far away and too small to make a good shot, so thought I'd share its odd-ball leaves.

Richard Birkett was kind enough to share some of his garden treasures with me before he and Barbara moved.  Adore this variegated deutzia.

A happy species H. quercifolia.  Keep having to apologise to it when I do the lawn.

And, to finish off, some of my Loblaws coleus that are doing wonderfully well inspite of getting more than their fair share of sun in the afternoon.


Gail said...

"Bucket of death" How perfect a description. Darn we now have them and grasshoppers, too. I think their eggs come in on the prairie plants. That's my story and I like it! You have some great shrubs~I need to get off my duff and make sure to plant a few dozen to give my garden year round appeal. Yes, I think the blue hostas all look similar~gail

greggo said...

It's funny I have the same three varieties of coleus.

Barry said...

That variegated Deutzia is especially wonderful, and YES, there is a dwarf Hydrangea quercifolia. I tried H.q 'Little Honey' again this year and watched it suffer and expire, so 'Sikes Dwarf' has usurped it! Methinks you will be able to find room for just one more! LOL!

Kim and Victoria said...

Your garden is so nice! It's hard to say as much as I'd like to about it. Love your front garden veggie spot, that's really attractive. Those hostas are gorgeous! Really, eveything looks very nice from here. Oh, and Japanese Beetles, (should I whisper???) haven't seen any.

Barbarapc said...

Gail, the larger the garden the more I've come to rely on shrubs. I've lost 6 trees over the years and find that they are helping anchor the beds.
Greggo, it really is a small world.
Barry, was fiddling about at Terra to see if they might have one - nope. Am going to have to put some gas in the car and go on a road trip.
K & V - Thank you. The other day a lovely young woman came by with her baby and said she put veggies in her flower garden because she saw me doing it. I have to keep it a little tidier than a backyard plot, but the veggies are just as delicious.

garden girl said...

Looks beautiful Barbara. I love the shape of your vegetable garden. Brugmansia is one of my favorites, and the foliage on the variegated ones is so pretty.

I just used the bucket of death for three tomato hornworms a few days ago. Grossed out my neighbor pulling them off the plants without gloves. :O