Rule number one is ….

… do as I say, not as I do.

I wouldn’t dream that you should follow me through my day in the garden in Summer. I control the photos that go into this journal, so I can tell you that the garden is completely weed-free, lush and green. I’ve been working my skinny little butt to the bone to keep it that way. Don’t believe it, any of it.

Today I noticed a wisp of wisteria at the top of an old threadbranch cypress, fifteen feet up. Of course, I need to remove it at ground level, which involves squeezing between the large Centennial Spirit crapemyrtle and a stone pillar (and I don’t squeeze like I used to), crawling under the cypress’ branches (because a vicious-thorned mahonia and a pond block the other access), and then rooting this devil out. If I don’t have enough leverage to pull it out, I’ll have to cut it, so the whole mess will be back again soon enough.

Earlier in the season I was foolish enough to be confident that I was finally rid of this beast, first cut to the ground five years ago, but it has survived from wide ranging roots and seed to continue to torment me. Perhaps I’ll get to this on the weekend, or the next.P1012096

I spent the better part of a cloudy day a week ago pulling and rooting out weeds, but apparently I’m not keen on spotting those ten feet and taller. I was browsing this afternoon, showing my wife the difference in the pannicled hydrangeas that are blooming madly, when I noticed a sumac towering above the ten foot tall Tardiva. And a few paces away another growing up through the Harry Lauder’s Walkingstick (Corylus ‘Contorta’). That will be a challenge. Some days I fear that a bulldozer would be a wise investment.

Enough of my troubles! Be assured that there’s sufficient beauty remaining in the depths of Summer to find a few delights to fill these pages.P1012161

While feeding the koi in the swimming pond my wife noticed butterflies swarming the Franklinia, the subject of several recent journal entries (but worthy of several more mentions). Bumblebees found the first blossom a week ago, and they’ve been everpresent, but I hadn’t before seen butterflies in such numbers. Japanese beetles usually find their way to the large Franklin tree’s flowers, but haven’t yet.   P1012152

Nearby the Catmint (Nepeta) continues blooming, and Russian Sage (Perovskia) has begun. It’s in a bone dry location in poor soil near the swimming pond pump, so it’s a bit wispier than it should be, but they are accepting that everything cannot be peaches and cream.

Deer have stripped the remaining branch on the young Mimosa. I was certain that this limb was too tall for their reach, so I didn’t feel compelled to spray it. Apparently Home Depot is renting ladders to wildlife now. P1012134

And since I’ve stumbled back into ranting about weeds and pests, I’ll close with the Japanese lattern-like seed pods of the Golden  Raintree (Koelreuteria, above). Pluck the pods and the large black seeds rattle around inside. When they fall to the ground every one germinates. Thousands. Makes you wish you owned a bulldozer!


4 thoughts on “Rule number one is ….

  1. what kind of deer repellent do you use and how often are you spraying .

    youir flowers are in such great bloom. what fertilizer ( bloom booster ) do you use thanks barbara

    • Today was my monthly day to spray deer repellent, this time Bobbex. I alternate this at the start of each month with Deer Stopper, with the theory that deer don’t get used to one being sprayed every month. I think that just about any of the deer repellents will work, and probably will be effective without alternating.

      I don’t use bloom boosters, or any fertilizers for that matter. I’ve never felt that there was a need. I hate to admit that I don’t add compost either, too lazy.

  2. I received 10 little wisps from the arbor day foundation and the one I do not want to plant is the goldenraintree. The twigs are not identified with tags or paint marks that I can see. Can you tell me how to identify the goldenraintree with so little to go on? (The other unidentified wisps are white dogwod, pink dogwood, eastern redbud and crabapple–if I could set those aside I’d have my goldenraintree identified if I could single those out…) Thanks.

    • For the trees that you list goldenrain tree is the only one with compound leaves with 7-15 leaflets along a central stem. The other trees have a single leaf only. On a very young tree I would expect that the leaves will be quite small, but you should still be able to identify the compound leaf.

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