Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Stapeliad gigantea blooming, bugs, and more!
Today I went by the college garden, and to my great surprise, I found the big clump of Stapeliad blooming! The buds (I call them pods because they are so huge and amazing) above were growing along one edge, so I could get a good shot.
The large (dinner plate sized) bloom is so amazingly beautiful. I used to have a whole tire of these guys, but they died after the 3 hurricanes we had in a row in2004-2005 which killed them. The horticulturist at this college garden had given me a huge clump, and I had a few years with them before they died. I'm not ready to devote the space they need to having them again. Especially since I can see them over there all the time. This is a regular garden hang-out for me!!!
Yesterday and today I noted a super abundance of rain lilies, or fairy lilies (Zephyranthes) in my yard. They come up in the summer after a lot of rain, which we have had the past 4 days or so! They are so sweet. When I discovered that they are commonly called fairy lilies as well as rain lilies...it was not surprising...as you can actually envision little fairies living in and around them. They are seriously enchanting!
I know the neighbors thought I was either dead or crazy as I was laying in the grass in all sorts of positions trying to photograph them! LOLOL!
Mine are mostly white with little faint tinges of pink. I will miss them when they are gone for this year!
My Cowpeas (also called Black-eyed Peas) had an amazing growth spurt in all the rain as well. The largest pods went from 4 inches to 8 inches in 2 days! Now I am waiting for the pods to develope into what looks like that there are actual peas inside...they are green right now, but in looking at this seed packet, they are supposed to be PURPLE! I am wondering if this is something that will happen to let me know they are ready??? Hmmm...should be interesting! I am looking forward to it. They look so pretty on the package, and seriously, that is why I bought them!!! Hee hee hee!
Now I must let you all know about the method I employed to control aphids today!!! I made up a batch of a recipe I found online somewhere to spray on them. It was supposed to suffocate them and kill them! YES!!! I was ready...these black-eyed peas were covered in them even though I pulled them off once to twice daily!!! So I mixed up:
3 cups of water
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid
At around 8am, I sprayed the heck out of the underside of the leaves and the stems (where they hang out). At 7pm, I went out to see what happened. I found some still clinging to the stems, flowers and leaves, but guess what????? For heavens sake, they were 99.9% all DEAD!!!!! Crap...I couldn't believe my eyes!!! WONDERFUL!!! Tonight, I washed them all off real good with spray of water and tomorrow AM I will be back out there again to inspect. This was so amazing, I just HAD to share it with the world! I also applied my garlic powder to the soil to control the leafminers. I think once I get all this stuff figured out, I will be able to enjoy gardening more, without nearly all of the trial and error stuff you must go through first!
Now, lastly an update on the spiny orbweaver spider I showed you last. I wanted to relocate the little bugger, but sometime between this morning (I had noted at that time that he had spun an absolutely amazing and perfect round orb web), and 4pm, when I came home.....his whole round web area, and HE himself, had disappeared completely! There is a little periphery web still hanging there, but poof...he was gone. I just wonder if he might be back tomorrow, cause I already kinda miss him. Funny how these things can actually get to you a little.
Goodbye my little spider buddy!!!