Garden Log: July 23, 2012


Here’s what’s happening in the garden:

Pink Cosmos

As the pale pink cosmos wind down, this bright pink beauty emerged nearby. Could it be the start of a whole new crop?

Flowering annuals

Our tall clay pot is a Hodge-podge of color. A few seeds, a few cell packs and a volunteer or two add up to Snapdragons, Vinca, California Poppies, Begonia, and a couple of Birdhouse Gourds.

Pumpkin Hanging by a Thread

This pumpkin is literally hanging by a thread (see insert). It measures 35 inches in circumference, about 11 inches across.

Acorn-shaped pumpkin

One of the few surviving pumpkin transplants. Its funny shape reminds me of a large acorn. What do you think?

Large Pumpkin

The darling of the pumpkin patch. It measures 52 inches in circumference, about 17 inches across.

Pumpkin Sprout

This ill-fated pumpkin sprout has lost its way. It’s growing in the middle of the lawn, no doubt planted there by a squirrel.

I’m hiding indoors from the hot afternoon sun, but will check on the emerging Lacewings at dusk.

How does your garden grow?


And Then There Were Thrips

It’s been a month of pests for Gardening Nirvana as we’ve worked our way through aphids, scale and now thrips. Three different plants, three different pests, all living within a few feet of each other.

Foreground (emerging sunflowers); under window (Viburnum tinus), right of photo (scale-infected Magnolia)

Thrips now reside on the lower leaves of the Viburnum tinus immediately outside of our home office window.  It took us two summers to figure out what that…uh…pungent smell was.  We knew it was organic in nature, but it was so odoriferous, we assumed a small animal had died under the house or deck.  The smell eventually went away, the plants looked fine and we didn’t give it another thought.

Spring rolled around again, then summer and…that smell!  Aren’t you glad you are only reading about it?  The damage seemed to be happening at the base of the shrubs and along the back, making me wonder if it was lack of air circulation.  My husband’s sleuthing and a magnifying glass revealed that yes, we had a third infestation on our hands: thrips.

Plant Damage

Plant Damage



Through the wonder of the Internet and our postal service, a shipment of lacewing eggs, nested in bran, is headed for our front door.  When the tiny larvae emerge they feast on the thrips.  Adults need nectar and pollen to survive, so it’s important to have insectary plants in your garden to support the adult population.  The exciting news is that my sunflowers will flower within the next week or so, providing pollen to the emerging adults.  They like Cosmos and Sweet Alyssum, too, also growing our the garden.