Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weird gardening stuff

Houston is weird for gardening.  Not that I know much about gardening in the first place, but on Thursday I spent two hours weeding the front and back flowerbeds.  I shouldn't be weeding in February.  It's just weird.  It is lovely to see the oranges all ripe though.  And actually, all my outdoor flower pots are doing better right now then they have all year.  (Maybe because it's not so hot so I actually go outside to water them??)  And the roses I planted are growing like crazy!!  I can't wait to see them bloom!

 In other gardening news, I found these bugs on one of my plants last fall.  And yes, I never posted it till now.  But I figured out they were Milkweed Assassin Bugs, thanks to the internet.

 I didn't figure it out at the time though, and I killed them.  I shouldn't have, because now I found out that they are actually beneficial bugs and they kill a lot of other nasty bugs in your garden.  They do have a painful sting though.
 About two weeks ago, I was out looking over my patch of garlic (Yes, that's about the only thing growing in my flower beds because I planted a bunch last fall, because I read it's supposed to discourage Japanese beetles, only lately I read something else and it said garlic encourages them.  Errrr.....  I don't know what to believe. ) and I saw this on my lone Zebra Mallow plant!
 This can't be good.

 I cut off the most infected leaves and went and did a bit of research online.  Really what did people do before the internet?

 Apparently, it's Hollyhock rust.  (Zebra Mallows are in the Hollyhock family) and apparently, it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll have rust if you have Hollyhocks.  Ruff.  Anyway, what I did was about the only thing to do, and the plant is still going strong.  Oh, my few tulips are coming up, but the daylilies I planted, while they grew like crazy when I first planted them, don't look all that great now.

 But to end on a happy note, this bloomed in the front flower bed last week.  And I finally know what those scraggily bushes are that are in there---azaleas!  Who knew?  Of course, most azaleas I've seen around are literally covered in blooms and only one bloom came on this random bush (there's at least 5 bushes in the front too).
 See how all alone it is?
Beautiful though.  No wonder people love azaleas.  And in other good news, Elena found the dead snake in our flower beds AFTER I finished weeding, so at least the job was finished.  :)

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