|Imagine eight of these Veterans Honor roses on one plant.|
They last up to two weeks in a vase.
Veterans Honor burst into bloom yesterday - eight perfect, fragrant, red roses on one bush. Planning ahead meant the soil was ready for the roses, long before they were planted. Soil creatures were abundant in each hole dug - red wiggler earthworms bailing out of shovels-full like paratroopers. Jackson Mulch and daily watering got the roses off to a good start.
The few laggard roses, poised on the edge of non-growth, caught up from extra prunes to waken them and rainwater to give them the best Intensive Creation Unit care.
Sharon Lovejoy and Jessica Walliser offer a three dimensional view of the garden, with plants as the backdrop for a wide array of God's creatures involved in a constant drama, like classical Greek theater, antagonists and protagonists, slugs and assassin bugs, All of Western literature is based upon the clash of heroes and a chain of events centered around Helen of Troy, "the face that launched a thousand ships and toppled the topless towers of Ilium."
In the garden, the events began at Creation, with each element designed to relate to all others. Unraveling all the relationships is like studying Greek literature and history, which still affect and influence us today, but Creation is far more complex and inter-related.
But we’ve also got some problems with them that will probably never be sorted out. As you already know, fewer than 1 percent of insects are considered agricultural pests, but those that are present some big challenges. As we continue to turn to more ecologically friendly methods of pest control, the use of natural enemies to aid our efforts becomes more and more valuable. The science of biological control, or biocontrol, uses one living organism to help control the population of another.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2889-2893). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
We can change the drama in the garden by setting the stage differently. The props are already there and freely available. My distant neighbor has two KnockOut roses in his yard. He pruned one carefully, and it looked like an oil painting when it bloomed. He even built a base around it and added some soil or compost. The other rose was left alone and soon looked neglected. Now both are neglected and sport old, tired, woebegone roses.
|Batman or Catman.|
The landscaper is now ready for his red wigglers, as soon as he is done installing Jackson Mulch in his rose beds. He is tearing out his collection of weeds and putting down newspaper and mulch. The newspapers are free leftovers - "You won't get mine anymore," he warned me with a smile. The mulch costs very little.
Our artist-in-residentce, Norma Boeckler, just finished installing Jackson Mulch in her garden, observing how neat it made the garden.
The first is to not consider it a dedicated border per se but rather to incorporate as many of the plants profiled in the previous chapter into your existing landscape as possible. Scattering them about in hopes of increasing the structural and floral diversity of your existing landscape will likely lead to an increase in the numbers and diversity of beneficials you find on your property. To some extent, this is how I got started with my own insectary plantings. I already had a handful of perennial gardens, a vegetable garden, and lots of shrub beds and foundation plantings. Instead of adding plants that I thought were pretty, I began to incorporate some of the species known to provide for beneficials (many of which also happen to be very pretty plants). The addition of any of these plants to any part of your landscape is a decent place to start.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2923-2929). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
From various authors I realized that adding a few plants will create a haven for beneficial insects who will earn their way in the garden. Simply leaving pests alone will draw beneficial creatures to this bounty of food.
Another change was adding an abundance of water sources for the birds and toads. "They have plenty of water already. This is not a desert." If you think this is a minor matter for birds, reconsider. My community pool for birds - a former kiddie pool - is messed up each day and needs to be dumped and refilled frequently, with a good hosing to clean it out.
I refill all the shallow water pans twice a day - mark that well. If one birdbath is enough, why are they using up 10 of them? The abundance attracts even more birds and creatures, and the guests stay to earn their keep by patrolling the yard and feeding on insects and grubs.
|How many plants have decided to grow a bug on their flowers,|
to keep pollination active?
And yet so many deny Creation.
In the Fall
I have a natural wooden border for the wild garden in the back. If the landscaper trims more of his trees, I will have more logs to place on the lawn as a low fence, bug-bird-toad haven. The grass is growing tall, because we no longer mow the wild garden. Bushes and favored weeds are growing up to shelter insects.
|Queen Ann's Lace is Bird's Nest|
for its manner of bunching up when seeds are maturing.
Beneficial insects count on this flower for nectar and pollen.
Queen Ann's Lace is often found in neglected areas, a group created by their prolific seeding. In the wild garden I have several growing alone, mulched, watered, earth-wormed to a fare-thee-well. They are majestic in reaching their full potential.
That is the fun of weeds. They survive almost anything, so a little pampering turns them into real showboats. Pigweed shoots up and spreads out. Queen Ann's Lace spreads its branches to gather more sun and pollinators. Cow Vetch clmbs the fence to catch the morning sun and drop more seed for future generations.
The wild area will be mulched with cardboard, newspaper, and autumn leaves this fall. Quenching the lawn in the back area will feed the soil and set the stage for new plants in the spring.
|A cold wet spring gave way to summer heat and dryness.|
Rain may be back next week.