Hortense Hoelove answers more questions from gardeners and the plant-lorn.
Dearest Ms. Hoelove,
I’m in love with Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ and everyone tells me we are not compatible because I live on the wrong side of Chicago. I find the photo of your crepe myrtle to be very intriguing but it’s not quite tall enough. I need a shrub about as tall as me (5′). If you should ever come across another shrub with red new growth changing to green, that’s taller, will you please post a mention of it? And thanks so much for the wonderful advice service you provide.
Oh my, many a gardener has become enamored with a particular plant, totally unsuitable for their garden, and then they pine for it something fierce, losing sight of all that is good that they can have in their garden! My advice to you is to stop thinking about this Pieris right now. It’s just not meant to be! Focus instead on lovely shrubs like the Korean Spice Viburnum, Viburnum carlesii, which doesn’t have new red growth in the spring, but does turn lovely shades of red in the fall and won’t get much taller than five feet. Or how about Fothergilla gardenii, which also turns a lovely red in the fall? And both of these shrubs flower in the spring! I promise you won’t think another thought about the totally unsuitable Pieris after seeing these shrubs!
No fan of Pieris,
Fall color on Viburnum carlesii.
I’ve had a serious case of daylily envy for quite some time. I’m going to my first-ever daylily farm this week. Should I take a set amount of cash or take the credit card with the high credit limit?? Keep in mind, Ms. H, that I am going with my friend Beckie, a serious plant buying enabler.
Dear Prairie Rose,
How I envy you your first trip to a daylily farm! The first time is always so special. What a treat and I wish I could go with you and Beckie! I hope you took your camera! But I suspect by now you’ve already been to the farm. Let me say that as far as how much money to take, well, I can’t tell you how much to spend on plants. I can just remind you that money spent on plants is money well spent! My advice is always take cash, if you can. It is less likely that others can track how much you actually spend on plants if you pay in cash, should it come into question. And really, is it Beckie who is the plant-buying enabler or are you using her as an excuse for buying so many plants? I’d like to hear what she thinks about your plant buying excursions, which are becoming legendary.
Takes one to know one,
I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s wonderful. I have a question. My garden in NE Ohio is a first year garden so it has a lot of growing to do. I’m thrilled with its progress so far. In the spring when I was just beginning to plant I had trouble with Chompers I and II, a chipmunk and a squirrel. I kept them at bay with a product called Liquid Fence made with rotten eggs and garlic. Smells bad until it dries. Lasts for a couple months. It really works. Now I’m dreading the onset of Japanese beetles. Have not seen any yet but I see them in nearby gardens in ones and twos. My question: Do you think there may be any possibility of this product repelling the dread JBs?
I think the question really is “do Japanese beetles have noses”? No, they don’t have noses, but most insects pick up scents through their antenna. So knowing they can recognize scents, the next question is would they avoid an area that smelled like rotten eggs and garlic? A lot of insects, especially those who feed on gross things like, well, gross things, probably wouldn’t avoid such a smell. So, I’m going to conclude that Liquid Fence probably won’t keep away the Japanese beetles. Your best option for combating those Japanese beetles is to hand pick off as many as you can, especially those who are, how to put it delicately, having a “good time”. In my garden, by the way, I’ve not seen very many Japanese beetles this year. Oh, sure I’ve seen a few, and I’ve crushed them, but there aren’t as many as in past years. I read somewhere that the population was reduced because late last summer we had a dry spell at just the time when the beetle eggs were hatching into larva, and the larva didn’t have enough moisture! Good for me and my garden!
Embrace bugs for a happier life,
There are actually TWO Japanese beetles in this picture. Avert your eyes!