Earlier in the spring, I began to notice that many, but not all, of my bushes in the front yard (Dwarf Korean Lilacs, Judd Viburnum, Boxwoods, Burning Bushes, Annabelle Hydrangea) were looking a bit unhealthy. Their leaves were oddly curling and looking dry, even though we’d had plenty of rain. The worst was one of the Burning Bushes and large sections of the lilacs.
Not knowing what to do, I called my tree and shrub caretaker to come and take a look. He diagnosed it as mealy bugs and mites, although I had trouble seeing what he saw. Looking into it some more, it seems it could have also been related to any number of other pests, or even incorrect watering or fertilizing. No matter the reason, it was clear from the symptoms that something was literally sucking the life out of the leaves and they needed to be treated or the shrubs could die. He recommended spraying with a pesticide/fungicide combo to cover all the bases. I don’t usually like spraying nonspecifically, but whatever the problem was it was affecting a number of specimen shrubs in my front yard that were already stressed from the harsh winter. I had already lost one large burning bush to mites a couple of years back and I didn’t want to chance losing all these bushes this year, so went ahead with the sprays.
Just recently, I finally started to finally see some new healthy growth on the shrubs and no further damage. Some of the curled leaves uncurled, others remained curled, but stayed green and didn’t appear to be any further damaged. Crisis averted for this year.
Have you ever seen anything like this? Any suggestions as to the cause?
This is the area of biggest change. In preparation for new construction, all the trees next door were taken down in early April. We knew this was likely at some point (see Problem Areas) and had tried to plan ahead. This garden contains arborvitae, annabelle hydrangeas, hostas and some annuals. It went from almost full shade to full sun. So far so good.
Under an Autumn Blaze Maple, we have some burning bushes, hostas, and daylilies.
Also some Columbines that have travelled from the backyard.
This was another problem area where nothing seemed to grow under a mature maple. I was happy to see the hostas I planted last year came back nicely. When I split some more, I’ll add them to continue to fill in the space. We are a little worried about the health of this parkway maple. It’s pretty old and showing a lot of signs of being unhealthy. But it’s still standing, for now.
On the other side of the driveway, a few years ago a rather large maple fell down in a wind storm. We replaced it with this Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) that has finally seemed to take off after it’s brush with cicadas its second year. Underneath are more densi yews, Russian Sage, daylilies and a burning bush.
Back up to the house, there’s an awful lot of green since the Korean Lilac and Judd Viburnum have finished blooming. The yews are a bit overgrown and the Rhododendron in the corner a bit spindly. This may become the next area to fix up.
The yews took a bit of a beating this winter and will look fine after a trim. The boxwoods and hostas are new last year and make a nice addition to the area (although the one hosta looks a little big for the space). A little sprucing up and mulch and this area will be good to go.
That’s most of the garden spaces that I write about and toil in. Hopefully this summer will bring perfect garden weather.
Today’s post is a tribute to my son’s high school cross country team who will be traveling to the IL state meet tomorrow with the goal of coming home #1! As everything around town has been turning from summer green to fall red, it brings to mind that this could very well be the year that it will be “RED” hoisting the championship trophy.
As a send-off to the boys, here are some of the beautiful red colors we’ve been seeing lately.
No matter what happens this weekend, just like this geranium still strongly blooming late into fall, these boys are tenacious and aren’t going away anytime soon. Good Luck!