The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sassy Goes to the Garden of Eden - Or - Almost Eden

Coreopsis is always mentioned with beneficial insects.
Called tickseed for their buggy-looking seeds, these North American natives may already have a home in your garden. Several dozen species of coreopsis exist, and quite a few of them are common garden perennials. They have become so popular because of their ease of growth, long flowering period, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and all-around good looks. Nearly all coreopsis are attractive to good bugs of all sorts, including minute pirate bugs, parasitic wasps, soldier beetles, syrphid flies, lacewings, and spiders.

Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2075-2079). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

Something began to change last year at our "park" at the end of the cul-de-sac where we live. Large loads of soil were dumped at the edge and some commercial style tables were set up for a nursery. There had always been a little more gardening equipment there before, but this was a definite surge. We walked over together once and met the owner, Derrick. His friends called it Almost Eden, because the property is shaping up so well.


Pause. Sassy insisted on her second walk for the day. I tried to wait until it was cooler, but she pulled on my arm and kissed my ear until I gave in. Back to the main topic.

Facebook let me know that Almost Eden was having a sale, so Sassy took me over to check that out. The property, which includes the large grassy park, is a former dairy farm which once delivered milk to the entire neighborhood. The farmer's son and daughter-in-law now live there and use their extra time in creating a nursery.

Sassy and I came upon the couple, who were resting in the shade, and Sassy got a warm greeting. "What a sweetheart. Lock at that beautiful dog." Sassy loves to adopt new fans into her flock, so she wiggled with delight.

They have many of the plants I thought about buying, but I resist most online pleas to buy. One reason is delivery of fragile plants in a beat-up and dried-up state, which only works for plants that respond quickly to soil and water. The other reason is cost. I know how easily some plants reproduce, and the retail charges make me gasp.

I told Derrick I wanted more birds-bees-butterfly plants. He had some that I wanted and others new to me.

Chaste Tree is bumble bee friendly.
They even sleep overnight in the blossoms.

Another new one for me was - Beautyberry -

Beautyberry is colorful and creature-friendly,
and it is an insect repellent.
This nectar was first thought to just be a way for a plant to excrete metabolic wastes, but we now know that plants use EFN [extra floral nectar] to attract predators and parasitoids by offering them a reward for helping to control herbivorous pests.

In my garden I can readily spot EFN production sites on my elderberries, fruit trees, beautyberries, peonies, sunflowers, morning glories, impatiens, and hibiscus. EFN is, in fact, a very important extra nutrient source for natural enemies, especially when prey are scarce. Being on the lookout for EFN production sites on your own plants can lead to some interesting interactions with insects.


Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations, 1462-1464 1489-1492). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

I also got lavender and gooseberry. I bought all these plants to foster and feed the creatures in the yard, which is exactly what they are doing at Almost Eden. Derrick explained that by putting down a covercrop of buckwheat, he squeezed a lot of annoying weeds out of production.

Goosebrries are thorny plants, loved by birds for food and shelter.

Slug News
The slugs got one can of beer in the straw bale garden. About 25 slugs entered their doom the first night, and with beer left, more the second night. This morning almost all the beer was gone, and so were most of the dead slugs. Did a raccoon have a meal of slugs with beer?

Additional Pests - Rose Pests
My first night inspection found some beetles chewing on rose petals. I am fairly sure I know which kind, but I left the two insects alone that I spotted having their night-time spot.

Last year insect pests hit the white roses (KnockOut) hard and left the rest alone. That may be from white flowers showing up so well in the dark, when night insects work their weal or woe. Once again the white roses are hit hard (John Paul II) while the rest are largely spared. I saw Double Delight get chewed on this morning.

I am watching and learning to use natural methods instead of insecticides.

Designing an insectary border that is appealing to both beneficial insects and humans isn’t as difficult as it might seem. The challenge is to include a diversity of flower shapes, plan for continuous in-season bloom, create year-round habitat, and blend plants together in an appealing manner, as this garden has done. The design of the border greatly influences the types of predators and parasitoids lured to it, as well as the length of their stay and even their health and well-being. Several factors are involved in such consequences, including the diversity of flower shapes and bloom times, the complexity of plant architectures, and the creation of winter habitat. Blending all these factors together with some sense of aesthetic appeal can prove challenging.

Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2867-2873). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

I have starlings splashing around together in the
Community Pool, a ridig kiddy pool with short sides
and just enough depth and room
for a number of birds at once.
They are hilarious when bathing as a group.
$10 cost. They are ferocious insect and grub predators.