2015 Pests, Disease & Intruders

Parsley worm, progeny of Black Swallowtail butterfly

Some of the usual suspects were back on the scene this year. A few veterans found other work in the neighborhood, and a few greenhorns hit our streets as well. Here’s a parsley worm chomping its way through our herb garden. We know that the lovely Black Swallowtail butterflies we’ve seen flitting about are their parents, and we know their preferred plants to lay eggs on, so we know which ones to pull now. A few inevitably make it to maturity, but they mostly confine themselves to a couple of their favorite spots, and we have enough to spare a leaf or two.  Continue reading 2015 Pests, Disease & Intruders

2015 Flowers of the season

We have maintained existing bulb perennial flowers in the beds, moved a few more around within the garden, and planted mixes of wildflowers along the inside edges of the side beds.

The bulb flowers tend to be spectacular and sometimes grow up to six feet tall. The wildflowers soften the edges of the concrete beds and attract tons of pollinators to the garden. We also plant a few flowers which are known to discourage unwanted insects such as mosquitoes and plant-damaging species. This year, a few of both the bulbs and the wildflowers grew tall enough to shade some of our veggies, which was a side effect we were not expecting. Next year we might be a little more specific about what height of flower gets planted where in the garden. Overall they are a great addition.

Cool garden! Are you guys composting?

Chopping up garden waste for composting

This is the most common question I hear from friends. I think it might be because people who have gardened, or like the idea of gardening, or who have never gardened for that matter, have all heard of or tried composting. It seems to be a kind of romantic touchstone that people identify with building a greener planet, like recycling. Perhaps it is easier to envision throwing your food scraps onto a pile than it is to imagine digging in the soil? Not really sure why it’s such a popular question. Of course, we are fans of this process—composting is a wonderful thing.

Having said that, our composting operation is new, and very much contained, for a few reasons. First, we have a lot of pests in the area—raccoons, bugs, squirrels, etc… and we don’t want to attract them any more than we already do. For this reason we don’t compost food from the kitchen. If we lived in the country, it would be another matter.

Continue reading Cool garden! Are you guys composting?