Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Four Gardeners of the Apocalypse

image citation: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Today was spent weeding, puttering and moving this & that. A Mountain Laurel that has lingered on the edge of health is finally relocated to a shady grove where hopefully she'll fare better out of the full sun.

I also moved a monster hosta that was just about covering a specimen Dwarf Hinoki Cypress that I coveted for years and finally bought. The hosta was a beast! It must have weighed 50 pounds.

I checked in on my lupines which have been looking a little sad. They have been suffering from aphids. I am reluctant to use poisons so I was checking on line for a solution when the boyfriend jumped in with a few tips. Spray them off with water or just run you fingers down the stems to squish/knock the aphids off. Information on line confirmed that they will never find their way back onto the plant.... and I thought turkeys were stupid!

Running your hands down the stem is a mighty effective antidote.... but a little messy. My fingers turned green with smashed aphid innards, but it was a satisfying job to kill so many bugs so quickly. Whenever I start thinking that gardening is about sweetness and light a chore like this comes along to remind me of the Four Gardeners of the Apocolpyse - Bugs, Disease, Weeds & Drought. My fingers were goopy from aphids so I decided to squoosh a few Chafer Beetles too. They are easy to pick off as they don't have the inclination to interrupt their lovemaking to save their lives.

Well- time for dinner.... after I wash my hands.


LYC said...

Alas the Lupins have mostly passed at my house....but I will try the squash method for other plants. I hope Henry hasn't lost his taste for the Chafer Beetles.

fishnet said...

i cannot for the life of me understand why you would want to wash your hands. you always seem to look for "tapas" and licking an aphid/chafer mix from your fingers could be a real treat. after all, ants "milk" aphids and kingbirds eat chafers...good enough for them, good enough for a princess!

JAF said...

I'm with fishnet. EAT IT, SMC, EAT IT!!