Saturday, September 10, 2016

Another quandary

At the banquet for the Garden Bloggers Fling, the centerpiece at each table was an Encore Azalea plant. I like azaleas as much as the next person, but they don't grow in my zone. Nobody at my table wanted it, even the person who "won" it, as they had flights to catch and preferred to do so sans horticulture, especially those from Toronto (pesky customs!) So I adopted it on the spot.

Did I mention that azaleas don't grow in my zone?

This one is called Autumn Amethyst. Its coldest zone is 6A. I am in zone 5B. No, wait, according to the government, I am now in zone 6A, but just barely. According to the Encore Azalea website, this azalea *should* grow here (with some winter protection). Huh.

My original plan was to keep this baby in a pot and tuck it away in the garage for the winter. Now I'm not so sure that is a good idea. If I were to plant it in the ground, where would it go? It needs 6 hours of sunshine, preferably in the morning, until around 2pm, then light shade. That spells "front yard" or way in the back of the backyard, in my yard. It also can grow to be 4'x4'. That is kind of big, so I can't just tuck it in somewhere.

This I will have to ponder.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A quandary

I short while ago I happily reported caterpillars on some milkweed in my yard. There were only a few milkweed plants in this particular location, along the south side of the house, where I have been establishing a prairie sampler. I wondered what the caterpillars would do, once the milkweeds were decimated.

Bye-bye, butterfly weed

Apparently, they crawled down the bed and proceeded to decimate the butterfly weed as well. There were only three plants to begin with. Now all I can find is this one, stripped of its blossoms and leaves. I hope the roots survive the winter and it (and its brethren) return next year.

I can't fence out the moths and butterflies, but I do discourage the rabbits with hoops of poultry netting. Otherwise, this is what happens.

Smooth move, aster-loving rabbit

Smooth aster must be particularly yummy. I protected the other asters, but missed this one.

The switch grass had flopped over my new oakleaf hydrangea. When I went to check on the situation, I found that the hydrangea was GONE. I'm not sure if the culprit is a rabbit or the resident woodchuck. I've never had to worry about the Limelight hydrangea, so I assumed this one was safe. The joke is on me.

The case of the disappearing hydrangea

My yard is not designated a backyard habitat for nothing, but I admit to being rather peeved when the denizens of that habitat do more damage than I deem acceptable. I'm not the only one to suffer the ravages of wildlife, but at least I don't have a porcupine to deal with. Or deer. At least, not yet.