Saturday, September 9, 2017

The bugs won

I have been so happy with my Knockout roses. They have filled up the whole area in front of my house under the window. Their flowers smell awesome! These are the ones I got for a dollar a piece a couple years ago.

The above photo was taken back in May. By August they had doubled in size. If you look close you can see holes in the leaves. I believe at that time it was the white cabbage butterfly eating them. I assume these are moths. What did I do? I went to the store and bought two bottles of spray.

Garden Safe Organic insecticidal soap and fungicidal. Back in May I sprayed the daylights out of my roses with each spray. They seemed to like this and doubled in size. I guess I haven't been paying attention, or spraying enough, because I looked at them carefully and there were dead leaves and lots of holes, especially on the left sided one. It was smaller than its neighbor. I walked in closer to the bushes and there was a web with a great big fat spider scurrying away.

I started whacking down the diseased bush and noticed that the other one was really in bad shape, too. It just didn't show it as much because the damage was more on the inside. I decided to whack down both of them and then spray the heck out of them. It looks pretty sad.

As long as the roots are OK, the bushes will come back better than ever. I'll spray them until frost hits.

The above two photos are the rose bush on the other side of the porch - the top one taken in May and the bottom one now in September. This is what the two on the other side started to look like, but they didn't survive the spider attack. 

Lesson Learned: Spray, spray, spray with fungicide and insecticide all summer long!

How have your plants grown this summer?

Happy gardening, my friends,

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beautiful Lake Erie

My friend and I celebrated our August birthdays in our favorite half-way point: Freeport Beach on Lake Erie in North East, Pennsylvania. We each travelled about two and a half hours to reach our destination.
 We had such a beautiful day for our visit.

Corrosion is a big problem at the shoreline, so tons of large rocks were recently dumped on the beach and in the water, making swimming for children pretty difficult. In the photo below you can see the rocks and how difficult it would be to walk in the water. The beach is also covered with the rocks, so wear very sturdy sneakers.
Lake Erie is ten thousand square miles and seems to go on forever like an ocean. I've been there on off-season with the winds whipping up and the waves can get very high. I love it!

Freeport Beach is wonderful because it is very small and what I would call rustic. On a beautiful day in August, there were few people there, making it a peaceful and quiet place to visit. There's a park-like area right there with a playground and picnic benches, as well as a rest room.

Next to the beach are a few beautiful Victorian homes lining the waterway off the lake that dries and swells with the seasons and the weather. Oh how I'd love to live there!

This little blue home with its gingerbread and flower boxes is so charming.

Some of the homes are vacation rentals while others are year-round living for the homeowners.

I loved seeing the wildlife enjoying the sunny day.

These birds are pretty tame and not interested in this visitor doing a photo op! I love how they sleep with their head tucked behind them - and on one leg! They are enjoying the sunny day, too!

North East is the home of Mercyhurst University. Graduation 2017We pass the campus on the way to the beach.

We had a delicious lunch at "The Cork". The flower photos are outside The Cork outdoor dining area, and of course you know they had to be snapped by me. Ferns, begonias and New Guinea Impatiens. Gorgeous! Actually flowers and beautiful landscaping are all over this sleepy little college town.

If you are reasonably near Freeport Beach in North East PA, check it out. Lake Erie is lovely and it's simple rustic beauty in the midst of vineyard country is worth the trip.

Happy gardening, my friends!