Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Garden So Far

My garden has been shaped by the extremes weather this year.  On the plus side:  cultivars that are normally zone-challenged are blooming their little heads off; newly divided perennials from last year took off as if they'd been fortified with every mineral and vitamin the world had to offer; everything is earlier; there are bugs, birds and creatures in abundance.  

On the negative side:  the spring shade lovers are about 1/2 their normal size because of the excess heat and no rain; my lawn (neglected over the last few years) looks like a demonstration for "before" the lawn was sprayed (it's against the law to spray anything here); the hemerocallis have held back on their blossom count; and the bugs, well, the moment anything is the least bit dry, every bug seems to hear the cry "buffet" and lands in for a munch.  Yesterday, I was dodging gigantic grasshoppers while weeding.

All I can say is thank goodness I don't have to make a living in the agricultural field - the stories that we've heard of the cherry farmers who have completely lost their crop due to an early blossom and cold snap, plus the apple farmers who aren't expecting much of a crop, makes me put my odd loss in the garden in perspective.

Here's one of the creatures I was mentioning.  I've never seen the raccoons quite as bold as they are this year.  After having a little sleep here mid-day, he climbed up to the porch for a perfect zzzzzz.

How delightful, it would appear that the whole family is thinking about relocating.

On the good side, found this little ground beetle making its way over the pea gravel to do some serious larvae eating in my backyard garden.

And anything I'm interested in, Bart is too.  And, just in case you were wondering - they don't taste very good.  Bart was licking and shaking his head after taking a bit of a tiptoe of a taste.

However, a few minutes later, just to check that it still tasted bad he went back for one more lick.  And same result, turns out ground beetles are not all that tasty. 

Lots of problems with Sunflower moth larvae.  The petal damage is from Japanese Beetles - the deformed cone is care of the moth larva.  They seem to prefer the white and yellow varieties.  I'm going to get out there shortly and make sure to cut off all of the deformed blossoms and pitch them.

The come-with-the-house phlox are especially lovely this year.

Taken after one of the few rains we've had - today it's droop-city.

The heat and/or sun seems to have bitten the edges of the phlox edging the petals in white.

More damage on the kale than other years, but doesn't seem to hurt the plant.  And a big shout-out to the Red Sails lettuce I planted in April from McFayden - am still harvesting - very impressed with its heat tolerance (and taste).

How's this for a standoff......  Not that those Blue Jays are little angels, but he really did seem to have a bone to pick with this raptor down on the lake.

 The monarchs have been early and plentiful.  Found this one in the garden after dinner.

 Here's an example of something that should be shorter behind something that should be taller.  It's never looked like this.  Oh, well, that's what makes gardening interesting - it is similar, but never the same, year to year.

Only one scape on my lovely lemon coloured hemerocallis - definitely whacked by the shortage of spring rain.

All in all, considering how tough a growing season it has been, I'd say the gardens are looking pretty good.  And if you stand back, waaaayyyyyyy back, even the lawn doesn't look too bad.

1 comment:

Randy said...

I'd say your garden is looking very good! The sleeping coon made me laugh. :0)