Monday, August 20, 2018

GARDEN SURPRISES


I love spending time in my gardens :-D However, since the air has been filled with smoky haze due to the wildfire smoke blowing in from calimexarabia, canada, and the various wildfires from east and south of us, I haven’t been able to get outside. But today I absolutely HAD to get outside to water with the temperatures in the 90’s and soaring; burning lungs will just have to be dealt with later tonight …


And I really like it when I have surprise visitors that spend time there too ;-) I saw 2 new creatures today … a beige frog while watering my geraniums; and a black and black and white striped bee, called a ‘sweet bee’ that I never even knew existed in these parts (I have lived in this region for 52 years and have gardened for 40 of those years). These are nice surprises:

Halictus farinosus - aka SWEET BEE of the PNW region; at first I thought it was a type of hornet. Today is the first time I have ever seen one. https://www.westernexterminator.com/blog/most-common-pacific-northwest-bees/
A BEIGE FROG! Apparently this little tree frog is THE SAME GREEN tree frog that is hanging out at our pad – and in its ‘beige color stage’ ;-) From what I have just read, the pacific green tree frog will change its skin color to blend with its environment … and right now the environment around here is dry and a brownish haze due to the wildfires surrounding our region.
The pink, white, and variegated leafed Geraniums are 12 years old ... the red ones are 25 and 20 years old. 

What I don’t like are the visitors that damage my garden plants … like whatever is eating my corn and causing growth damage >:-( It’s not raccoons – though we do have raccoons that waddle through here; my bet is on an insect. Possibly earwigs. I did hear and see a flying grasshopper around my corn when I stepped out to water, so it is quite possible that the grasshopper is the culprit. But whatever {it} is, I do not want it chomping on my corn! This is NOT a nice surprise …

SOMETHING IS EATING MY CORN! I hand-pollinated the ears as soon as they sprouted sufficient silk, so I am hoping that the corn cobs will survive and plump up with tasty kernels despite the missing silks. https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/795/

Grasshoppers, too, can feed on aboveground tissues of a corn plant, including leaves, tassels, green silks, and ears. ... In severe infestations, the entire corn stand is stripped of leaves leaving only bare stalks. Damage can be severe in dry years when natural vegetation is limited and grasshoppers migrate to corn fields.

I was excited to see my Roma tomatoes and Cucumber vine ripening; the Ruby Chard perking up, and my miniature Yellow Rose bush putting out new growth/flowers following the drastic pruning I gave it a few weeks ago. I planted a small planter at the base of the cuke planter box with lettuce seed for fresh salads – by the time it is ready to pick, the Romaine will be ready to be harvested; the Romas will be ripening by the handful by then, and with a hope and a prayer, perhaps the carrots & scallions will be mature enough too to add them to the salad bowl:




I think I will pull the celery this week – it’s quite tall and looks to be more than ready to be harvested …