Weed, Spray, Love… the Garden, That Is

Was outside yesterday weeding on my knees until I couldn’t unbend them. This afternoon it was me against the aphids. Armed with a spray bottle of soapy water, I bombarded them until they ran streaming down the stems and onto the ground. A temporary victory at best, no doubt.

But what fascinated me was the discovery that from bush to bush, some of the roses were loaded with aphids and some didn’t have a single one. How does that happen? Do aphids have prejudices? Do they decide that certain roses taste better than others?

On a happier and much more exciting note, all the roses are covered with buds. By the time we return from college visits next week, I suspect there will be a noticeable change… many new plants will be poised to burst into bloom. Some, like these below, will continue to pump out color for another few weeks and then that will be it… the days will quickly grow too hot and they will die off to the ground for another year.

This will be my final posting for the month of March, so it is with pleasure I show the white California poppies I’d mentioned in an earlier post. They’re not really white, but rather a pale buttercream. I ask every visitor to the garden if they have ever seen CA poppies this color, and to a woman they all say no. It’s kind of wonderful to think we might have a one-of-a-kind, aberrant albino hybrid poppy in our garden.

More of the new bearded irises are budding and blooming, including this one I’m calling Swedish Blonde (mainly because I can’t locate the tag that identifies it). It smells deliciously like lemons and has that austere pallid legginess one might associate with certain Northern European types.

More of the Cymbidium orchids are blooming in their pots. My indoor orchids, as I’ve mentioned, only rarely rebloom from year to year, and it does get discouraging to water pots of leaves and nothing but leaves. So it’s a thrill to see that the Cymbidiums seem to have no such rebloom hang-ups, and instead seem determined to reward me with reliable appearances from spring to spring. Plus, I love that shade of green!

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