It’s been a wonderful, busy week, and I looked up from my desk around 3 p.m. and realized “Ack! I haven’t taken any pictures of the garden in days!” So I ran outside with my camera. The clouds are thickening and rain is forecast until the weekend, which meant this may be the last time to capture some of the flowers in photos…or at least until they cover from the rain loosening petals.
|Ant versus cicada: what are they thinking right now?|
This is one of those shots that just surprises me when I upload it to the computer. I took this picture in the apple orchard, trying to capture the evil bug-eyed monsters invading the area, i.e., the 17 year cicada. Then, when I cropped it, I realized the cicada was having some sort of confrontation with an ant. Since I’ve seen ants eating dead cicadas, I think the ant is thinking, “Yummm….” and the cicada isn’t thinking much except “Where’s the girls?” All they do is mate once they’ve emerged from hibernation. Mate, fly around, and get eaten by my dog, the cats, and vultures. What a sad life to be a cicada.
|Organic strawberry in my garden.|
Folks, this is what a strawberry looks like. A strawberry as God intended it – naturally grown, no pesticides. Notice anything? No insect damage. You really don’t need much to grow strawberries. They are so sweet, they’re like candy. I ate some store bought berries today just to use them up before they went bad and they don’t compare. Not a bit. Yay for strawberries!
|Colorado potato beetle larvae|
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same success with my tomatoes and peppers. The red insects above are the larvae of the Colorado potato beetle. They are decimating my tomato plants. Just the cherry tomato plants.
If anyone knows an organic treatment or deterrent for this insect, please let me know.
|Jonathan apple, developing on the tree|
Speaking of edibles, I love seeing the apples developing on the trees. The Lodi and Jonathan apple trees have apples this year, the first time since we planted the little twigs in 2007. Above is a Jonathan apple developing on the tree. Until this week, we couldn’t distinguish among the different types of apples – all the developing apples looked the same. Now they are starting to take on their telltale shapes. The Lodi looks more like a Red Delicious while the Jonathan is attaining a plump, rounded shape.
|Roses and lavender blooming today|
|Butterfly garden in bloom today – purple nepeta, yellow primrose, gaillardia|
|Gaillardia with pink Missouri primrose|
|House plants blooming today – African violets|
And lastly, the flowers blooming today. The roses finished their first bloom and the black spot has taken over. The Fairy pink rose, shown here, is the one that looks the best. I love how the lavender border sort of mingles with the tiny pink flowers. The butterfly garden has begun to come into its own, with Nepeta (cat mint), salvia, yellow primrose and Gaillardia blooming, as well as Cardinal flower and Butterfly weed. Near the front border, more Gaillardia and pink Missouri primrose are blooming, while the Achillea gathers up courage to bloom among them.
And lastly, the indoor plants. My African violets are blooming well now. Above is “Easter Bunny”, an African violet obtained from the Master Gardener plant sale.
What is blooming in your garden today? Share in the comments section!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.