I have just one question for anyone who has never planted moonflowers (ipomoea alba) – what are you waiting for? Yes, in northern gardens they take some time to flower, and yes, they must be started indoors to insure adequate time for flowering before frost, but just look at the rewards. The five-inch diameter blossoms in this photo opened last night and remained open into the cloudy morning – a few smaller blossoms had opened over the previous three nights – and the vines are covered with buds ready to open.
Macremphytus tarsatus, Macremphytus tarsatus, Macremphytus tarsatus. Roll that off your tongue a few times … difficult … frustrating? Explains how difficult it is to control sawfly – the common name for Macremphytus tarsatus, and how frustrating it is to walk outside to peruse your foundation plantings to find your red twig dogwood totally bereft of leaves. And I do mean bereft … nude … free of vegetation … leafless … get the picture?
You know … the unattractive white powdery-looking spots that seem to appear from nowhere during mid- to late-summer? These fungal spots begin on lower leaves and can quickly spread to cover leaf surfaces of entire plants. Lilacs, phlox, bee balm, asters, dahlias, cucumber and summer squash are all susceptible, particularly if the plants do not have good air circulation (a problem I plant to avoid). Not liking to spray fungicides, I've tolerated powdery mildew for years. But when cleaning up paperwork this past winter, I found a note I had jotted down, likely while watching any one of gardening shows I try to take in during cold weather months. The note said: powdery mildew; 1 part milk to 9 parts water; spray 2x weekly.