Wednesday, April 21, 2004


There is a war going on in my backyard. Yes, that's right, at least it feels like a war and so far there have been 300 casualties.

Let me explain.

I consider myself a gardener. I actually consider myself a pretty good gardener. I have turned most of my backyard into flowerbeds full of wonderful blooming gorgeous perennials and annuals and about twenty rose bushes complete with winding trail, soothing fountains and comfortable places to just hang out and be peaceful. I plant mostly with an eye to providing everything I need to "get away" and everything the butterflies need to live all the cycles of their lives right here in my back yard.

So, in that pursuit I have spent the past several years trying to learn what it takes to maintain this type of garden, like how much to water (I usually water too much), how much to feed the little bloomers and how to keep them healthy. Here's the rub. I love the flowers and so do the butterflies, but in order to keep the butterflies I have to also be as organic as possible so they don't croak when they nectar on my flowers. Also, I believe that a person should try as much as possible not to use harsh chemicals if they can help it just because it's not good for our environment. So, after many years of fine tuning and getting everything just right, especially for these very finicky roses, this year was looking like a banner year for them. I had finally figured out the water thing and my bushes were looking great. No black spot and they were absolutely covered in buds. Covered, absolutely covered. I was so excited.

But, then the other day I noticed that the flowers were not looking so good and some weren't opening and if they did they were deformed. I was afraid to look. Finally I did and I found just what I had been afraid of. These bushes were in the midst of a fight for their life with the ugliest of the ugly critters that love to attack them-------thrips!


Thrips have to be one of the worst buggers out there on flowers because they get into the bud and do their damage sight unseen. They burrow into the bud and so they are very hard to get rid of because you can't get to them. The worst part is that the best shot you have at getting rid of them is to remove the buds they have invaded and then you really need to spray them to kill the ones that are about to invade.

So, yesterday I spent about an hour in my garden, DEBLOOMING  my rose bushes. I had to remove at least 300 fetal blooms. It was awful and just the saddest thing I have done in a long time. I actually felt like crying. I mean I have been babying these bushes along for at least three years and it just killed me to have to do this to them when I finally had these gorgeous bushes full of baby buds.

I was so sad. It affected the total rest of my day.

Today I am feeling mostly better. I went out just a while ago to spray everything with water just in case I could knock off a few of the remaining rose sucking monsters. It is still sad. My bushes look like they have been robbed. They look like sometime during the night, when they were fast asleep, a rose thief just came along and took away their babies and their beauty. I know they will come back and I know that it had to be done, but I know they must be sad and I am sad for them.

At the bottom of this post is a link for comments, please feel free to share with me some of your thoughts on what you just read. 

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