Monday, August 15, 2005

The Jungle that is my Backyard

I’ve told you about the impact of the rabbit(s) on the yard but it’s me who may be endangering the rest of our plant life! Not intentionally, of course but I’m killing it quietly just the same.

I kept telling my hubbie that the weeds could not be the reason for so many dying spots in the front yard because, after all, there weren’t that many weeds! I did not realize just how many I’d just been mowing over until we went to pull them up yesterday! Yes—I think they have been choking the life out of the rest of our yard after all.

We pulled the weeds from most of the gardens as well, much to the dismay of the insect populations. I think we host a couple varieties of ants, though they have segregated their communities all on their own. Different areas of our yard have different color ants but they all object to me removing the weeds, which, of course, make up a little forest for them. Thanks to Disney, I was sure I could hear them yelling “Princess Ata! Princess Ata!” the whole time!

Then there is the poor young tree, struggling to make it out there in the big backyard. You can see it from my kitchen window and a while ago I noticed what I thought was a bit of tree fungus on one branch. I’ll get out there this afternoon and clean that off, I said.
Life happened and I forgot for a day or two. Looking back out the window, I saw it had spread a little further and leaves were dying. (Those of you who actually care for your yard/garden can already see what is coming. Look away! Go read something else—you can already tell what an irresponsible property owner I am!)

I waited a few more days! I noticed it was spreading up the tree and leaves were beginning to look like lace. So as we finally headed out to pull the weeds yesterday, I told my husband, I have to go save that tree today.

He was insistent that it was just a large, growing spider web. I was sure it was some deadly tree fungus or virus and I’d have to amputate branches. I don’t like it when I’m wrong but I will admit it. I enjoy it more when he is wrong, especially if I’m right but in this case, we were both wrong.

Tent caterpillars were building their own city all over our poor tree. At least I’ve learned that these buggers won’t kill the tree; they eat the leaves and the bark but once they’re removed, the tree should recover. So I destroyed their burgeoning civilization yesterday and hopefully our young tree will develop into a big, strong tree after all.

For those of you caterpillar-rights activists out there that are horrified at my actions, I apologize. Send me your information and if the creatures return, I’ll carefully transfer them to a box with a few leaves and ship them to you for the proper protection. (I can’t guarantee they won’t fly out of the box upon arrival but I will get them to you as soon as I can!)

To any successful gardeners out there who are shaking their heads at me but reading this far nonetheless: is there a something that I can plant in my garden that giant, ferocious grasshoppers will not eat? It does not matter if it is an annual or perennial flower, bush, etc. I’m thinking a nice, fake plastic plant might be a good way to go…

No comments: