|I took this photo of the Hesperaloe blooms in late June|
|The flowers still looked fine when I took photos for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day in mid-July|
Then this week I noticed that the smaller bloom spike didn't look right.
|I took this photo yesterday. Notice the bloom spike on the left.|
|From a distance, the flower spike on this plant seemed to have turned gray|
|But it was actually covered in tiny green sap-sucking beasties|
Within little more than a week, when I wasn't looking, the aphids covered the entire flower spike. It seems that the warmer weather brought them out. I dealt with smaller infestations on the Gaura in my front garden in early spring but it was nothing like this. I cut the entire spike and deposited it in the trash, then doused the Hesperaloes with insecticidal soap. At present, the flower spikes on the adjacent plant don't appear to have any bugs at all.
After I'd cleaned up the aphid problem (at least for the moment), I noticed a nearby bed was in need of grooming. It too had looked great in June.
|Succulents comfortably mingled with purple-flowered Limonium perezii (aka sea lavender) here|
As the Limonium started to fade I cut out the flower stems that no longer looked good. One thing led to another and, after pulling some of rattier Limoniums, I cut back an overly exuberant trailing Osteospermum, rampant stems of asparagus fern (an inherited weed here), and some sickly pale stems of Senecio vitalis, revealing other plants I'd entirely forgotten about.
|My clean-up is by no means complete but my knee can only handle so much time working on even a moderate slope like this one|
|I planted this Aloe striata x maculata early last year, along with Aeonium cuttings, then lost track of it entirely when it was engulfed by the Limonium. There's another variegated succulent just beyond it I haven't even identified yet.|
More clean-up - and perhaps a new planting vision - is needed to whip this area into shape, but that's a project for a cooler day. The heat seems to have caught up with us at last.
Tell the Truth Tuesday is hosted on a periodic basis by Alison at Bonnie Lassie to keep things real by showing the less-than-Instagram-perfect features of our gardens. Is your garden harboring any nasty bugs or hiding any lost treasures? Do tell.
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party