Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot & sticky August garden

Most times the plants don’t seem to care that it’s hot and sticky. I only hear the people complaining about the heat index being 98.2 degrees, the temperature being 89.6 (where is that shade anyway?), the dew point being 73.4 and the humidity being 59%. Humans like to moan about such things, but the plants presently residing in my garden seem pretty serene about it.

However, I did notice some oddly shaped and marked leaves on roses. I suspected stink bugs chewing on the new growth, and I was right!! I saw one the other day but didn’t squish it. I hate being uncoordinated! And then I was surprised to find some other culprits.
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Reve d'Or shows telltale signs - black crispy leaf tips and some deformity in the leaves.
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More maturity deformity (above on Reve d'Or and below on Nur Mahal)
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Here’s a shot of the bad guys – aphids. I have the sinking feeling that the cute little orange fellow is a good guy, namely, syrphid fly. They eat aphids. Unfortunately, he got smushed with the aphids. Bare fingers, too.
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Some roses are murmuring though, particularly ‘Souv de la Malmaison’. She's been saying, “Look, ma, no leaves.” In this instance I’ve been suspecting grasshoppers, having recently killed two personally.
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But I think some of the leaflessness is just normal cycling from bloom to rebloom - harmless whining. Here she is the next day popping new leaves all over herself.
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Flowers are very, very tiny now on several of the roses. Roughly half their normal size on ‘Clotilde Soupert’, ‘Mystic Beauty’, and ‘Capitaine Dyel de Graville’ while ‘Le Vesuve’, ‘Mme Abel Chatenay’, and ‘White Maman Cochet’ are almost normal. ‘Souv de Francois Gaulain’ and ‘Enchantress’ are normally small flowered – and they’re normal, too.

Oh, did you want to see some flowers? Well, I had no idea…
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Dianthus chinensis is a wonderful plant here. Green all winter and blooming the rest of the time. To me the flowers are miraculously intricate and the colors are fabulous. They make lovely mounds of green dotted with lots of flowers. I just learned that they're biennial which explains why some have declined suddenly this year.
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'White Maman Cochet' - above and below
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Finally, on Sunday some butterflies showed up. Three or four Gulf Fritilaries and a black one that flitted away before I could see it clearly.
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Clematis 'Jackmanii' blooming again
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'Fred Ham' daylilies
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'Lilian Austin' blooming  smaller than usual
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Another incredible Dianthus chinensis
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'White Maman Cochet'
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'Mme Abel Chatenay'
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Clematis 'Westerplatte' blooming again better than in the spring
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'La Sylphide'
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  1. Great pic of the aphids. But kind of disgusting, too. :) My roses blooms are very small now, too, and bleached out. I am very impressed with your clematis!

  2. Sherry, great pics of your blooms. I especially love the 'White Maman Cochet' and the yellow daylily. The flowers of most of my roses are considerable smaller, too, right now and I also deal with insect damage. In my case it is aphids and the "green worms" that eat the rose leaves sometimes to the point that there is only a skeleton left, arrgh... But as an organic gardener I just have to live with this and rather prefer to look at imperfect rose bushes than to spray toxic insecticides.

  3. I too love your 'White Maman Cochet', so pure and beautiful! Your Dianthus chinensis is pretty. I need to look for it. I planted some Dianthus last winter, they were blooming prolifically during the cool weather, once the temp is up, they all faded away.

  4. Aphids? I never see them after early spring, interesting that they're attacking you now.

  5. Great Pictures Sherry, as usual:)
    I love your 'White Maman Cochet', and your other flowers look pretty happy and healthly.

  6. ACK! I have been ignoring the garden a bit because of the HEAT. I better get out there this weekend and check on things. Sure hope I don't discover any aphids. I have seen lots of stink bugs though:( Your roses may be smaller than usual but they sure are pretty, especially that white Maman Cochet!