bedraggled and butterflies

Bedraggled. My garden looks slightly soggy and bedraggled today. We had showers throughout the day yesterday, but last night we got a good soaking rain. Finally.

Plants are listing in some of the beds but everything looks much happier after a long, dry, hot and horribly humid spell. So today, later in the day, I will have to put out deer repellent but other than that I am just letting the garden be. I will get back to it tomorrow. I also need to give my knees a break, as fall is coming and means bulbs and more planting.

I have to be honest it was nice not to have to water this morning. It was totally getting to be a drag. I do (of course) have weeding, trimming, and pruning to do. There is always some of that to do! And mint thinning again.

Lordy the mint is happy after my mean pruning a few weeks ago. I love having mint in the garden but if I don’t stay on top of it it marches over everything. So I will be mean to it again and thin some out.

Oh an can we also talk about the Bishop’s Weed aka Gout Weed? This is a constant battle on this property along with hideous prickly vines. I just keep pulling because I don’t want to use herbicide and well I am certainly not want to use one of those weed torches as I live partially in the woods. I know people like to use them, but I have seen people burn a heck of a lot more than they intended with them.

And because I live in Pennsylvania we have to talk about spotted lantern fly. And I don’t often because I get so tired of people posting pictures of “what’s this bug.”

My arborist has been treating our trees for spotted lantern fly for a couple of years now. They do a very controlled trunk spray. It works better than the drench and I don’t like to just spray things randomly at the trees like they used to spray for mosquitoes at the beach when I was little. Knock on wood I actually haven’t seen any in my garden yet this year.

People tend to make broad sweeping often ill-informed statements when it comes to having to treat your garden for certain pests.

I treat my trees and garden carefully and only when needed. And I actually try not to spray anything other than Neem oil and foliar tomato food spray.

As anyone who has been to my garden knows I have a great wildlife habitat: bees, butterflies, two pairs of hummingbirds, all sorts of bird species.

There is a virus which is taking out song birds that they don’t know the origin of yet. But in spite of stopping feeding the birds and cleaning out our feeders, bluebirds had a second clutch, Carolina wrens have had several clutches, cat birds, and Cardinals, and finches. All multiple healthy clutches with no mortality that I can tell. People who have sunflowers and other flowers that have the flower heads go to seed have goldfinches as well. I have seen a couple of goldfinches but not as many as when I had the thistle feeder out.

The butterflies and hummingbirds were especially pretty this morning after the rain. And I have to tell you the song birds started early this morning, just before 5 AM. So pretty but they were loud in their cheerfulness this morning.

It is now, unbelievably August. The summer has flown. Most of the daylilies are finished but some are still blooming. Some of the Asiatic lilies I planted are finished, but others are starting to bloom. And new to the garden this year Crocosima and giant Cannas are coming into bloom. And now is when I start to leave some of the spent flower heads on some of the cone flowers (echinacea).

Happy gardening!

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