Because we spent the majority of the weekend doing stuff out in the new garden, not much got done in the flower gardens at all. So we went out after work today, really just to do a walk-through because we thought the bugs would be awful, and ended up staying outside for a couple of hours and being very productive.
Mostly we weeded, together even, something Frank doesn’t usually do because he has so much else to do. I really enjoyed the company, though, and it gave him a good idea of the stuff I’m fighting. The worse is the vetch, and all I do is pull it and pull it, hoping that someday I’ll get ahead of it, but it’s awful, especially around the chives, and we have a lot of chives, which I finished deadheading while we were there.
Unfortunately, we also found Japanese Beetles all over the roses. I cleaned off the ones I found, trimmed the bushes themselves, which are looking very attacked. I think I might come out tomorrow with some soapy water spray and see what that does. We’d tried milky spore in the lawn last summer and it’s supposed to last for years, but that doesn’t seem to have done much good, in my opinion. Frank thinks last year’s infestation was worse, but the summer is early! I’m pessimistic.
We’d been wondering whether or not the Medallion rose bush from Arena (in its second year) survived or not. Only one branch came of this year, and it looked weird, and we were worried that it was a grafted plant and this was the root stalk coming up. But it opened up today, and it is definitely a Medallion bloom, and looking quite pretty. So she survived, barely.
The other new thing in bloom that we noticed today are the flowering stalks of the Hens and Chicks. Either it is a first for them (around the rocks by the pond) or the first time we’ve noticed. I love how unusual they look, and the pretty pink flowers at the top are a bonus.
One of the things that I didn’t plan so well is all the moss that I so carefully moved from the containers on the porch over in between the stones by the gazebo. It turns out that soil not only had pretty moss, but also tons of clover seed, which made the whole area look awful, so I had to weed it all out today. I tried to be careful and leave the moss but pull the clover, but it was tricky. And giving myself yet another weeding chore wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done.
I have to say, though, that the Mosquito Magnet is working wonderfully. It’s amazing to be able to work for two hours after work, in the evening, and not be driven in by the bugs. Eventually, the deer-flies drove us in, but it was almost eight when we retreated into the screened gazebo. The MM didn’t do squat for the black flies, and doesn’t seem to get the deer-flies either, but it’s doing great for the mosquitoes. Our house is 200 feet from a huge swamp, too, so that is very impressive. Frank thought I was too quick to rave about it, because last spring and summer was very dry, so it didn’t have a real test. But this spring was horribly wet and rainy, and still, we are basically mosquito free. My only complaint is that it promised help with black flies and deer-flies, but still. I’m happy.