It’s so disheartening to find a favorite rose plant munched badly by pests. This time of year caterpillars of all sizes are out in force and laying waste to a lot of the hard work we do in our gardens.
Master Gardener Rita Perwich, another Coronado gardener wrote a great article in the San Diego Union Tribune about caterpillars and how to keep them under control. Rita is a Master Rosarian and really knows everything about roses. Her article is a great read:
Orb spiders magically appear in August and they seem to stick around for about a month, then one day you realize they have disappeared. The webs are spectacular, sometimes as large as a circular web of 6 feet or more, between buildings and trees or shrubs. I practice spider tai-chi in the early morning, taking cautious steps while slowly swinging my arms in all directions in an effort not to go face-first into a big spider.
Orb spider webs are beautiful and strong. Having walked through quite a few Orb spider webs in the last few weeks, I’ve had a few ‘moments.’ I’m okay when I walk through the web but when I see a big spider out of the corner of my eye sitting on my shoulder, not so much. Not the best way to get your heart rate up
Fortunately, the bite of Orb spiders is not considered to be toxic to humans and they are non-aggressive, so we’ve got that going for us. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders and they seldom bite. Their webs snare flying insects so quite often you’ll see the spider eating something it has caught. This spider is feasting on a big grasshopper.
ARACHNOLEPTIC FIT (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.(*From the Washington Post Mensa Invitational which is a contest in which readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. I thought this was very appropriate!)
A lot of your plants may be looking a little stressed right now. That’s okay, it’s just that time of year. Plants are resting, storing up energy for spring growth. The big jobs to focus on this month are keeping the garden tidied up, and mulching for root protection and to prevent soil compaction with the rains that are being predicted. And most importantly, as always, enjoy your garden!
After a week of blustery rain, the sun came out today and the garden came to life. I was glad to spend time outside with my plants. There was a bit of wind damage, but rain has a way of making plants look so vibrant and fresh. A good flushing does wonders.
I assessed the garden to see what kind of damage occurred from yesterday’s hailstorm. This echeverria’s tender leaves show how hard the hail came down – hail holes! Fortunately, that was the worst of it.
I had to fill up the bird feeders because the birds were out en masse and they were hungry! This pretty little bird is a House Finch.
I found a special treat today – a new butterfly just emerged from its cocoon. It spent the day sunning itself, looking more vibrant as the day went by. A little miracle….