Besides Mary threatening an extended hiatus from blogging, aphids are bugging me. I hate the little suckers! There's almost no other insect that I would say that about, but I wholeheartedly hate aphids. I think it stems from my beginning days as a gardener. Of all the things to start with I chose roses. I bought lots of beautiful old garden roses and some beautiful David Austin roses that I coddled and crooned over. Even then I knew better than to spray them with pesticides, so I devised many creative and non-lethal ways of eradicating these nasty bugs - none of which worked at all. Eventually I got to the point that I would just run two fingers down each stem of my rosebushes, squishing the bas*ards along the way - with my bare hands - yuck!
I'm too squeamish to attempt that now - especially since there are so darn many of them on each plant. I don't have roses anymore, but they're feasting on my milkweed plants instead. They're really not harming anything, but they look so ugly and make me squirm.
Something mysterious is also bugging my new Sour Gum tree. I first noticed ants crawling on the ends of the branches and they led me to find aphids, or some other aphid-like insect, that's feeding on the new growth. They didn't seem to do any real damage and they've since more or less disappeared. Instead I'm seeing these roundish holes cut into a lot of the leaves now, but I don't know enough about insect pests to be able to identify the culprit. My guess would be some type of leaf-cutting bee, but who knows? My Dirr manual says that the most common diseases and pests are canker, leaf spots, rust, scale, and the tupelo leaf miner but none of those seem likely. I wonder if any of you plant geeks have any ideas? There's also a cute little spider that's made a web on the shady side of the tree; I've tried identifying the bugs it's catching, but the mummified corpses in the web give no clue either.
So what's bugging you? Or your garden?
I can add to my list of things that are bugging me - Blogger! It's gone all wonky again and I fear that this post will show up multiple times, if it shows up at all!
Just kidding, Mary!
a return Visit
10 months ago