Weekend Notes: Shrubz 2 Treez, Rose Resurgence, Grasshoppers

  • Shrubz 2 Treez. I may have mentioned this before, but Judy really dislikes shrubs. She’s fine with small trees, but despises shrubiness. Me, I like shrubs. But I was very taken with a photo I found from the website of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in which Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) had been pruned into small trees. This allows for more vigorous growth by the perennials at the base of the shrubs. The birds had just stripped my Spicebush of berries – within days of their ripening. So I took my trusty Fiskars bypass pruner and went to work. Then I read from Donna at GWGT how you weren’t supposed to do heavy pruning until late fall or winter – earlier pruning encourages tender growth that will be killed by frost. Now I’ll just have to wait and see if my eager improvements will cause any damage. This is my problem as a gardener: I lack patience, when I am seized by an idea I have to act RIGHT NOW.

By the way, Judy’s having camera problems so today’s pictures were taken with her cell phone. Not up to her ordinary standards…

Spicebush after first attempt at pruning.
  • Rose Resurgence. With the cooler weather, my roses have started blooming more enthusiastically, especially the small white single flowers of ‘Cassie’ and the pink buds and  cream-colored flowers of ‘Sally Holmes’. ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ has bloomed more modestly, on the other hand I’m growing it on an arbor and it has almost reached the top. I’m a little worried about ‘Westerland’, which is not blooming and seems less than robust.
‘Darlow’s Enigma’ on arbor.
‘Sally Holmes’
  • Grasshoppers. There are grasshoppers hopping about my flower beds. Not many, just one or two at a time that I can see. For some of you that might sound commonplace, but in my inner ring suburban town they are an unusual presence in the garden. My first reaction was one of quiet pride: another sign that I have created a wildlife friendly habitat garden. Then I read that grasshoppers are in fact the same as locusts: we just call them locusts when there are a lot of them. They are hungry herbivores with broad tastes. However, I will not panic. There are plenty of birds in our garden, and perhaps other predators. I’ll assume that the other critters will prevent things from getting seriously out of whack.
Grasshopper playing hide and seek in the Anise Hyssop.

12 Comments on “Weekend Notes: Shrubz 2 Treez, Rose Resurgence, Grasshoppers

  1. The photo of the pruned shrub did not show up. I hope it thrives well over the winter. I don’t have any trees, but do have a number of tall plants. I haven’t seen any grasshoppers yet this season. I probably will soon.

  2. Oh, cute little grasshopper (that ate CHICAGO!)! When they can’t find anything succulent and green to chomp on they BITE gardeners. Locusts indeed! I don’t like them, but 1 or 2 probably won’t chew enough of any one thing to make a difference, except probably your roses and the already pruned spice bush. Insects are perverse. We have quite a few in the family garden, but no damage that I can see. We usually see them in gardens where there are juicy hay fields nearby.

    • I read a book about the dust bowl in the 1930s that talked about how long-delayed rains brought swarms of locusts when there was very little greenery to eat, so they chewed on wooden tool handles. Very creepy – literally.

  3. I think your grasshopper is cute but then I don’t have any in my garden. You should be o.k. but if it starts raining frogs or Lake Michigan turns blood red, ya might want to get out of Dodge.

  4. Like blonde gardener, we are invaded this year with grasshoppers. It is a hop fest out there. Like artillery fire when you enter the garden. I too am partial to shrubs. They are such great garden structure, and many have nice bloom times too.

  5. One of the nicer things about the approach of fall is that the roses tend to put on a second act. Good luck with your grasshoppers. We have a lot of them, but, thankfully, they don’t seem to bother anything in the garden.

    I got to visit the Lady Bird Johnson gardens about five years ago now, and it was a wonderful experience. How nice that they have such a fine resource available on line!

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