Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting to Know a New Enemy

They have finally arrived in my garden! 

I spotted the first one in the roses by the picket fence. I gasped in horror! There, resting comfortably on the pink petals of my rose, was one of those retched Japanese beetles. 

How did he get here, I wondered? Did he come in on some plant I purchased? Was he the only one or could there more? 

After I knocked the beetle to the ground and ruthlessly crushed it, I went to check the other roses along the picket fence. None, thank God! I breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed the beetle might have been alone. 

Then I remembered the John Cabot Explorer Series roses at the back gate...

Sure enough, there were beetles hiding in every rose cluster! I tried to knock a few of them to the ground, but they took flight. I had no idea the damn things could fly! 

I need help from those of you who have been fighting this invasion force for sometime. What do I do to control Japanese beetles?

At least their appetite seems to be limited (so far) to my roses.

The baby bunnies, on the other hand, don't seem to be nearly as selective. I crossed paths with this little fellow just the other evening. He did not seem to be afraid of me, but rather regarded me with frank curiosity.

On to other garden news. In the front beds, the Tigers are showing off their summer spots.

The Brown-Eyed-Susans shining are in all their late summer glory.

Providing a counterpoint to the bright orange Tigers, are the paler cantaloupe colored daylilies and a number of varieties of phlox.

I have to say, that I am disappointed with my Asiatic lilies this year. The white ones in front garden are beautiful, but the pink lilies in the back garden have failed to put in an appearance.

Here is my favourite Yarrow.

Most striking of the perrenials in the front garden is this Rudbeckia. The plant easily 
has to be as tall as I am. (5'4")

This shot gives you some idea of scale. (That is an old well in the background.)

The combination of a late spring and a hot, dry July has meant that my Pee Gee (paniculata 'P.G. compacta) and Oakleaf hydrangeas (hydrangea quercifolia) are somewhat delayed in flowering. 

Unfortunately, the recent host of problems are not limited to the front garden. We store our garbage and food waste compost in an enclosed storage area at the gate to the back garden. The doors to the storage area always remains closed and yet some nocturnal creature has been managing to squeeze its way in each evening and tear everything to shreds. 

Yesterday, I found that one of the biodegradable bags of food compost had been lifted out of its locked green bin and spread all over the ground. What a smelly mess! 

I suspect there is a clever racoon at work. How he is getting in there is still a mystery. We have checked for holes or some sort of gap. There is none.

When I went to check on my tomatoes, I found the biggest slugs I have ever seen in my life. They have been feasting on my tomatoes. I swear they were over an inch long and fat as can be! 

Do I remember rightly? Can you drown them in shallow dishes of beer or is that some other insect pest?

I want to end on a more positive note. 

I had written in one of my last posts that my hostas had finished blooming. I had forgotten all about a few of the late bloomers. 

The hosta pictured here is easily the biggest perennial in the yard (about 3 feet in every direction). The blooms are huge and glisten with water droplets from yesterday's rainfall. 

Along with the slugs, bugs, racoon and rabbits has come some much needed rain!

Today I am going to link  to Cottage Floral Thursday at Fishtail Cottage.  Tomorrow, I will link up to
Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. I will also be linking to the Creative Exchange on Monday.
 To see other great posts, simply click the links.


  1. Those little devils love roses and Hibiscus. They are the only bug I know that can mate and chew blooms at the same time. LOL!I guess the little monsters are spreading. We have had them for years. You can either drown them in soapy water or smash them which takes time. I always hate to spry them because of the other bees and good pollinators. They have insecticide bags you can hand up to draw them there but I was always afraid that would draw in more than I already had.LOL! I am no help at all.

  2. OMG! No experience here re. the beetles. Good luck with them tho. What gorgeous blooms.
    Becareful with those Raccons!! They look so cute but they pack a whole lotta fire! They are MEAN!! I fought with them a couple yrs ago. I tried everything (check out my blog). The pair ended up fighting my Great Dane...needless to say they won. Hundreds of $'s later she is OK and they haven't been back since. One thing that was so weird is they would catch koi out of the pond and just leave them...guess they filled up on the dog food they were pilfering.
    Be careful they are mean and smart! They pushed rocks from my garden into the pond to make it shallower to get to the fish! Smart suckers!!
    LOL Have a great weekend!

  3. Beetles, bah humbug. They are not as bad this year, but they are using my roses for their boudoir. I interrupted the happy couples many times. Your bunny is cute, sorry to say. I keep seeing the one in my yard, but so far not appreciable damage. Your photos are stunning today. My favorite is the tiger lily. The lighting is perfect.

  4. Goodness, we seem to share the same gardening afflictions. I too have bunnies, bugs & slugs. A nasty little trio indeed. Your pictures are stunning all of the colours are so vibrant, the cantelope coloured lily is so interesting, and the tall rudbeckia screams 'look at me!'. Late blooming hostas are great, yours is so very floriforous. :)

  5. Japanese beetles... Big sigh... Ok, here's your plan: 1) prepare yourself to take some losses, 2) they are quick flyers but if you're not squeamish pick them up and flick them into a bucket of bleach water, with more a lot more bleach than water. Do this every single day until they disappear or it snows. Avoid putting out a pheremone bag trap or you'll have every beetle in North America in your garden. I had a couple of beetles show up and then disappear. This fall apply milky spore to your garden soil.

    Slugs are suckers for cheap beer! Pour about a cup into a shallow container and set it out near whatever plants they're enjoying. If you bury the container, you can use one a bit deeper. If you can't bury it, just make sure it's not so shallow the slugs crawl out again.

  6. So sorry that the Japanese Beetles have arrived in your area. Our university extension advises picking them off and dropping them in soapy water! By the time I would get to doing this they have already had a feast. Bayer makes a systemic type 3 that supposedly takes care of the Japanese Beetles. It worked up in Wisconsin but not at home. Bayer also makes an insect spray that states it will eradicate the Japanese Beetle, this does kill them as does Sevin.

    Your flowers are beautiful but even through the beetle loves roses they will feast on other plants, flowers and leaves both.


  7. It's a good season for pests it seems. We are drowning in slugs due to all the rain. Dishes of beer, seaweed mulch (salt) and just plain old picking will keep the slugs at bay. I love that close up shot of the rudbeckia. What an absolutely stunning plant. But did you need a ladder to get eye to eye with them?!

  8. I add my voice to beer and slugs. For the beetles, I spray insecticidal soap in a bucket add water and then knock those beetles into the bucket. After the bucket has sat overnight and they are dead I throw the whole soapy mess into the bushes. Repeat performances are necessary. The tiger lilies are truly spectacular.

  9. We have bunnies that will stare at the dogs! Stupid rabbits. So far we haven't had much trouble with the Japanese Beetles, though I know some just carry a jar of soapy water and pluck them and dunk them. Slugs.....I used to have some so large I thought one of the dogs had pooped on the sidewalk. Yes, beer!

  10. Yuk, sorry to hear you have Japanese Beetles in your yard. They are so destructive!

  11. I don't know anything about the Japanese beetles, but I can tell you that you are my favourite blog photographer! Your photos are just plain stunning.

    It's always such a joy to look at your posts.

    Happy Friday!

  12. Your photos are very pretty. Yes, you can kill slugs with beer. The container has to be deep enough that once the slug is intoxicated it can't crawl out...:)

  13. We had Japanese beetles on our linden tree, far too big for me to get into the canopy and pluck them off into soapy water. So we lived with the tattered leaves. I agree with the milky spore on the lawn to get rid of the grubs that form beetles, you should do that, but it takes a couple seasons.

    Even with bugs, slugs, and bunnies, your garden looks great.

  14. Hi Jennifer - Your Lilies are beautiful, the Rudbeckia is quite something to behold, the hostas are spectacular and ... well sorry but the bunny is as cute as can be!

    Slugs are attracted to and will drown in the beer. Works like a charm! The beetles - I don't know what to do about those. I hope your problem with the racoon or what-is-it get sorted! Thats no fun to wake up to every day.

  15. I tend to pick them off and squish them. They don't linger long in one area, having to migrate as the summer progresses. I've used crushed shells around plants to keep the slugs at bay. Regardless of the pests your garden is still beautiful!

  16. Sorry about the beetles.
    You have a great selection of flowers and OH WHAT COLOR !!

    My lilies are all spent now except for my tiny blackberry lilies that just started to bloom.
    Sounds like hornworms on your tomato plants, they need to go.

  17. Even with all the insects and wildlife in your garden it is beautiful. What an impressive tall rudbeckia.Love all the photos with the rain drops on the flowers...... glad you got some rain, we did too but not enough.

  18. There are still so many lovely blooms in your garden. Hope the problems with pests have been resolved.

  19. I am sorry about the beetles, I have no experience with them. I have heard that milky spore on the lawn kills larvae, so there are fewer adult beetles later... Our main pests are squirrels taking bites of fruit and vegetables and even new tender growth on roses!

  20. you have a lovely array of flowers..

  21. I'm so sorry about the beetles, hope they just vanish:) I have to say your garden is just beyond my imagination it is so amazing. I can't understand how everything grows so big and tall.

  22. Wow!!!! Amazing garden and beautiful flowers. It's just a pure pleasure to look at them. So rich and vibrant colors!!! Some flowers I also have in my garden and some not.

    And I am in love with Rudbeckia. I have to find these flowers in our local valley nursery. I hope I will have a luck.

    Fantastic pictures of beautiful flowers!!!!

    Greetings from Kaya.

  23. Oh my goodness, in spite of your beetle invasion, your gardens are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Such an amazing combinations of colors, shapes, and textures! So beautiful!

    Thank you so much for sharing these today at The Creative Exchange.

    Have a wonderful day!


  24. I am glad for your rain. We have recently had a racoon take up residence. Last night he dug holes all over the Lady Garden and knocked several pots off their stands, including a large fern. It looked like a vandal had been there. Lou says he's going to trap him.

  25. All of these are so beautiful!!!

  26. I'm glad you've gotten advice on how to deal with your garden pests Jennifer. We don't have JB's here (at least not yet). I hope we don't ever. I remember my Mom making a homemade trap of some sort when I was a child (growing up in Virginia) but I couldn't tell you details. Sorry. I have tried the beer for slugs and had success ~ like many other commentors.
    I would say (from your photos) it's hard to tell you have pests of any kind. Everything looks absolutely gorgeous. My tiger lilies didn't come back this year. :-( Nor did a few of my Asiatics. That Rudbeckia is incredible.
    We have baby bunnies here too but they don't cause that much damage.
    Hope you get all your unwanted visitors under control. Raccoons like to visit my garden in winter (for suet) and sometimes in summer (for the orioles grape jelly) Once they show up, I have to bring the feeders in every night to make them move on. I don't know what you'd do about your compost tho? It's easy to see why they all find your garden irresistible ~ I would make my way there too if I had wings!

  27. Thanks everyone for taking the time to write your tips on dealing with bugs,slugs, racoons and rabbits. My struggles with garden pests are still on-going, but your tips have been very helpful.


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