Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Jungle in August

 Dateline: Cattaraugus County, western New York State

The woodland cottage garden look is just about reaching its peak.

Of course it wasn't originally going to be a wild woodland English cottage garden but a perfectly manicured American-style one with neat clumps of the same time of flower separated by lots of mulch. That strategy did not work.

Even if the garden shed always manages to look tidy.

I caught a few dastardly Japanese beetles but thankfully their friends appear to have taken fright and scarpered and we didn't have any more trouble. I think the majority opinion around here is that traps just attract more of the brutes. So it's a case of grabbing them and chucking them in the slug bucket.

Back in July, Jack Daniels, as I call him, was at his best.

Later came the obedient plants - spreading everywhere. They're almost as bad as what I call the yellow perils. But they are very pretty.

I've never seen so many bees on a small clump of flowers. There must be something in them they love. This chap couldn't get enough.

The trumpet vine is out of control. The gift from my master-gardener brother-in-law that just keeps on giving.

No more flower beds but meadow beds. A free-for-all but I' was heartened again by this year's Chelsea Flower Show which seemed to favour the untidy look.

In front the daisies are always good value though one morning I came outside and found something large had landed in the middle of them and left a trough. Maybe the same culprit that uprooted everything earlier in the year.

The hardy hydrangeas are getting massive. 

I have to say that, although I complained about the slugs earlier in the year and they devoured all the lupins, they don't seem to have waddled off to eat anything else. Perhaps the melon rinds I scattered around enticed them and they got indigestion.

Another foe, the deer, do seem to have repelled by the Irish spring soap, judiciously tied to bamboo poles and smelling like inside of a minicab.

Alas all the blueberries got eaten once again, whether by chipmunks or birds. One attacks from above and one from below. We'll have to think up a new strategy next year. But on balance I think I can claim some modest success.

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