The Garden: Wonderful, Worrisome, and Weird

The Garden: Wonderful, Worrisome, and Weird

At this time of year we see something new every time we go into the garden. We notice what’s wonderful, what’s worrisome, and sometimes what’s downright weird. Here are a few things that I’ve noticed in my yard this week that you might have spotted too, beginning with the wonderful.

The pink Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa 'Satomi') is coming into bloom and the unfolding of the flowers is sweet and lovely.

The pink Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’) is coming into bloom and the unfolding of the flowers is sweet and lovely.

Also lovely is my Bloomerang lilac. Once this small lilac finishes flowering I deadhead it and it will produce some more flowers later in the summer.

Also lovely is my Bloomerang lilac. Once this small lilac finishes flowering I deadhead it and it will produce some more flowers later in the summer.

And now for things you might be seeing and finding worrisome.

As you see in the previous photo, the American hollies are in their "yellow period." Many people think that this is something wrong, but it's a natural cycle of shedding the old leaves for this plant. If you look closely at these native hollies you'll see the new leaves already beginning to open. Soon they will be filled with fresh, green growth.

As you see in the previous photo, the American hollies are in their “yellow period.” Many people think that this is something wrong, but it’s a natural cycle of shedding the old leaves for this plant. If you look closely at these native hollies you’ll see the new leaves already beginning to open. Soon they will be filled with fresh, green growth.

Some Rhododendron shrubs are showing winter damage at this time of year. Leaves might be tipped in brown, or, as in this shrub, entire branches might have died. Rhododendrons usually shed the browned leaves and homeowners can clip off winter-damaged branches like the ones in this photo.

Some Rhododendron shrubs are showing winter damage at this time of year. Leaves might be tipped in brown, or, as in this shrub, entire branches might have died. Rhododendrons usually shed the browned leaves and homeowners can clip off winter-damaged branches like the ones in this photo.

As the roses form their buds it's common to see aphids on this new growth. Spray with insecticidal soap to kill these insects.

As the roses form their buds it’s common to see aphids on this new growth. Spray with insecticidal soap to kill these insects.

The winter moth larvae are still at work, and they are causing a lot of damage on trees that haven't been treated. It's still a good idea to spray with Captain Jack's in order to prevent trees such as this from being completely defoliated.

The winter moth larvae are still at work, and they are causing a lot of damage on trees that haven’t been treated. It’s still a good idea to spray with Captain Jack’s in order to prevent trees such as this from being completely defoliated.

And finally, the weird!

Our native pitch pines release their pollen in a concentrated period in late-May. If there isn't rain during this time the pollen piles up on every surface. Fortunately, this pollen is so heavy and waxy that it doesn't cause allergies in most people.

Our native pitch pines release their pollen in a concentrated period in late-May. If there isn’t rain during this time the pollen piles up on every surface. Fortunately, this pollen is so heavy and waxy that it doesn’t cause allergies in most people.  Naturally, I didn’t notice the thick layer of pollen on this deck chair until AFTER I sat down on it.

And finally, the wacky thing that I saw in my yard today was this wide-mouth bass. When we went outside at 7 AM it was propped up on the steps to our veggie garden, a good 400 feet from the pond. Some animal must have dropped it, but it was the strangest sight that we've seen in the garden in a long time!

And finally, the wacky thing that I saw in my yard today was this wide-mouth bass. When we went outside at 7 AM it was propped up on the steps to our veggie garden, a good 400 feet from the pond. Some animal must have dropped it, but it was the strangest sight that we’ve seen in the garden in a long time.

What are you seeing in your yard and garden? Whether it’s wonderful, worrisome, or weird, we’re here to help.

4 Comments

  1. Anca Vlasopolos on June 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I’m finding an explosion of invasive orchids, helleborines. I don’t want to use pesticides that damage the environment and cause the death of bees and butterflies, but digging them out seems to be only a temporary solution. Any thoughts?

    • CLFornari on June 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Sorry, Anca, but this isn’t something that we deal with here on Cape Cod. I’d ask at your local garden center.

  2. Mitchell Petrie on June 2, 2016 at 11:08 am

    An indoor Jade plant has a weird,a white, small bug. So small they are sticky to surfaces and hard to remove. The bugs are smaller but the legs can still make out as it is a bug. So I have sprayed them with a water bottle, but they returned, but wiping them would be hard because the leaves are a bit smaller. Are there any other alternatives. Also, will I have to change the the soul if they return. They seem to be only on this one plant. Thank you.

    • CLFornari on June 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      It could be a mealy bug. These are harder to get rid of but the common practice of cleaning them off with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol, followed by a spray of horticultural oil, should do the trick. You have to do this every week for awhile, however. No, a change of soil won’t help.

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