03 November 2012

. . . very very hungry . . .

. . . a couple of years ago, 
tyler worked so hard 
planting twelve hibiscus . . .
. . . and eight arizona yellow bells
 around our pool . . .


. . . that was after he worked so hard
 digging out the stumps of hedges past
 and replacing the drip system . . .


. . . yep ~ he's a keeper . . .

. . . then, sadly, 
one by one, every single 
danged hibiscus died . . .
. . . my yard man told me 
that he'd seen dozens of them 
kicking the bucket around town . . .
. . . one by one, i yanked them out . . .
. . . grrrrr . . .


. . . the yellow bells, however, 
grew like weeds . . .
. . . seriously . . .
. . . i have to cut them back
 all.the.time . . .
. . . but i love the pop of yellow . . . 

{look at the flowers ~ not the quilt}

. . . even through this downpour, 
you can see they were 
green and thriving . . .


. . . then over the course 
of the past two weeks . . .


. . . they started turning brown . . .


. . . and i said a few bad words . . .
. . . and felt horticulturally 
picked on . . .


. . . and i wondered 
what in the world 
are those black specks? . . .


. . . and then i noticed 
something was eating 
my basil, too . . .
. . . some sort of italian pests, 
no doubt . . .


. . . but when i saw 
my beloved coral geraniums 
were being devoured . . .
. . . that was the last straw . . .
. . . i was mad as he** and 
i wasn't going to take it 
any more . . .


. . . apparently, the valley of the sun 
is infested right now by these . . .

{if you have children, i know you've read this book about a thousand times}

. . . technically they are
. . . i kept searching 
for one to photograph, 
but was not successful . . .
. . . according to the asu website, 
this is what they look like . . .
. . . bless their fat, slimy 
green little hearts . . .


. . . when i walked 
into my local a&p nursery 
with my chewed up clippings 
safely tucked in a ziploc bag, 
the guy just laughed and said, 
"you're about 
the hundredth person today" . . .
. . . misery does, indeed, 
love company . . .
. . . then he sold me these 
and told me to prune the bushes back
 to practically nothing . . .


. . . which i did, 
and then i sprayed the heck 
out of them . . .
. . . and gave a shot 
to the basil 
and geraniums, too . . .


. . . in case you were wondering . . .
. . . the black specks 
covering the ravaged leaves 
happens to be caterpillar poo . . .
. . . i hate to think 
how much of it i touched . . .
. . . or worse, inhaled
in the process of pruning . . .
. . . so if/when 
i start coughing up moths 
in a couple of weeks, 
there is a perfectly 
logical explanation . . .


4 comments:

chris+amber said...

Ahhh! No wonder. Glad you figured out the problem. I'll cross my fingers that your plants will come back!

chris+amber said...

PS. ** means "ck", of course. ;oP

Carol said...

Oh my Steph...those are some VERY hungry caterpillars...Caterpillar poop...YUCK! Please though if you start coughing up moths or butterflies, please have someone there taking pictures...we don't want to miss that! LOL!

lifeinredshoes said...

They're tobacco budworms and I get them every single summer too! They love love love my red geraniums as much as I do. This year I found a spray...let me go see what the name is?
Ok, I'm back.
It's made by Ortho, called Rose and Flower Insect Killer..ready to use.
Works on indoor and outdoor plants.
I didn't find it until about August, bought one bottle to try and BINGO! it killed the little buggers and kept them from coming back for 4 weeks, just like the bottle says.
Next year I'll look for the concentrate and, WAGE WAR!
Good luck and report back ;)