Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Rain and Very Hot and Still More Japanese Beetles

This has been a very unusual growing season.  Very wet and cool in the spring followed by an exceptionally hot and dry July.  The Japanese Beetles are fierce and their feeding frenzy appears to be endless.  Fortunately other than a few Lily Beetles in early spring, the garden is blissfully free of these shocking red tormentors.

It has been very hard on my tomatoes.  Not nearly the crops of last year.  In fact one of the plants looks as if it is packing it in for the season - at least 2 months ahead of schedule.  And, the squirrels have decided that they also need a little more lycopene in their diet - photo evidence below:

I wish I was there when he started to eat it.  I would have made him finish the whole thing.

Old-time and cornerstone of the garden phlox looks pretty horrid.  Just didn't get what it needed, when it needed it:
In all other years, it would be in its second flush of bloom rather than sporting these pathetic beige heads.  Below is what Echinacea looks like after it's been eaten by Japanese Beetles:

Fortunately there is still enough good left for the pollinators.  Let me show you some of the un-shambly bits:  The cold wet spring and hot has made for a good show of the Hemerocallis.  'Kwanza' is still looking pretty.

Another one or two from the Bobcaygeon breeder.

An oldie but goodie 'Frans Hals' - notice how much dead there is on the leaves from the lack of rain.

I suctioned off the raindrops off this blossom and placed them carefully on the soil.

My favourite flower of the moment - Ipomopsis rubra.  This plant is from Texas and loves the hot and dry.  The hummers love it.

The eggplant is exceptionally happy - saw a nice little baby beneath a flower.

These seed heads are a sign that summer is moving right along. And, the come-with-the-hosta - last week in full bloom - this week just sad stems waiting to be cut down.

There is rain in the forecast.  And my head feels as if it just might be on the way.  Fingers crossed we get a good downpour and there'll be good photos to be had tomorrow.


Michelle said...

I hope you get your rain. We got a ton today here in Northern Lower Michigan.

jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Thank God for today's rain! The garden so needed it. Those horrible Japanese beetles have shown up in my garden in the last few weeks. So far they are picking mostly on one of my fluffier roses. I hate them already!

Peggy said...

Hi Barbara,no lack of rain over here at the moment!Our gardens are not producing as much as last year either due to a lack of rain? during Spring ,then we had weeks of scorching winds and now very little sunshine.We were making pasta sauces with our tomato glut last year, this year we won't have to worry about using them up!
Japanese beetles hav'nt gotten to us yet as far as I am aware.

Knatolee said...

Naughty squirrels!!! I just got my first red tomatoes yesterday. We really need some rain. This is the first year I've ever had potato bugs, too.

I can't remember my garden ever being quite this dry. THe lawn is completely fried, too.

Barbarapc said...

Michelle - thanks for the rain. It arrived just in time.
Jennifer - so sorry about the beetles - they're appalling. They do seem to go for the prettiest and most scented flowers in the garden. Let's hope they figure something out to help us rid our gardens of them.
Peggy, same with us last year. Going to have to break down and buy some tomatoes! I have friends travelling in Ireland at the moment - also watched the open and saw all the rain. Hopefully the skies will clear for you and you'll have a good finish for your harvest.
K - potato bugs too!? Yikes, horrendous. I'm pulling my tomatoes off just a few days early to keep one step ahead of Squirrely Nutkin. Actually think they're too full from Cornus berries, but with them almost gone.....