There have been so many changes and disasters in the garden this year. The weather has been much cooler and wetter than normal. Not nearly enough sun for the plants in the backyard but more than enough water for the plants in the shade garden which don't get a lot of rain due to trees. I'm going to take you on a tour of our garden, explain our plantings and share with you what works and what doesn't. Please keep in mind what works for us in Central Illinois may not work for you in other places.
Tomorrow, I will take you across the backyard. We have many more gardens, bird houses and garden pests to share with you. This year we've been invaded by what we think might be a virus that caused many of our huge blue spruces to loose the bottom third of their needles. We have been unable to find someone who knows what the virus or how to treat it. We have two white pines that were sprayed for disease so late that they might not survive. The Japanese beetles have eaten most of the new buds on the Chinese Wisteria. We do have traps out and I go out at least twice a day to knock the beetles into a pail of soapy water. We hate to spray with insect killers because they are indiscriminate. They will kill a Monarch Butterfly as fast as a Japanese Beetle. Luckily in a few weeks, the beetles will be gone and actually, this year we have not been hit as badly as last year. We've had some other sad moments this year but many happy ones also. Last night as I was checking my e-mail, I looked out my window to see a magnificent coyote across the street. He/she was gorgeous and looked like he'd/she'd been eating well in the neighborhood. We have rabbits to spare so I wish him/her luck. This morning my husband went out to get the paper and saw a fox walking down the road. He actually asked me if the coyote I saw last night could have been a fox. It made me angry for a minute. I'm not an expert by any means but I think I can tell the difference between a fox and a coyote. And the deer have been into the garden so badly this year we've had to take some protective measures I will talk about tomorrow.