The sweltering heat of the last ten days has made work in the garden a challenge. Luckily, the staff at the Horticulture Center arrive at the crack of dawn and the gates are open shortly after 6am. July can be a cruel month for plants and humans alike. One can count on certain visitors to the garden, however... Japanese and harlequin beetles. Despite the fact that we saw zero grubs in the soil of the beds this spring, the Japanese beetles have swooped down on the grapes climbing the arbor and are feasting on their leaves. Bag traps are encircling the garden, fifty feet or more away from the beds. They are filled with bead bugs. But still they come to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. This week, we soaked the grapes with garlic spray, a potential deterrent to beetle activity. The scent was incredible, so strong that one's eyes would water. We'll see if that helps to solve the problem.
The harlequin beetles, so colorful but so nasty, have found the kale to their liking, but, interestingly, not all of the kale. They seem to like two cultivars -- Red Russian and Lanciniato. They ignore the curly kale. Go figure! The two favorites have been relegated to the compost pile. Good looking white eggplant starts will be taking their place tomorrow.
The City Gardens Contest judging date has been set -- Friday, August 2nd. We're busy staking errant plants, deadheading blooming herbs and generally tweaking an already well manicured and beautiful garden. Please stop by for a visit and be sure to sign in at the visitors' box. If you're there at 6:30 am, we'll treat you to coffee!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
By Linda and Sandy Grimwade
Across the Schyulkill River from the famous Laurel Hill Cemetery, is the lesser known West Laurel Hill cemetery in Bala Cynwyd. Less than a mile from City Avenue, this 187-acre cemetery is the largest open space in Lower Merion and is on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to the large number of 19th century notables buried there. But, in addition to the over-the-top Victorian mausoleums, this beautiful area showcases over 2300 specimen trees.
To draw attention to this wonderful collection of trees, the cemetery is running 4 tours – one for each season – led by their arborist, Brian Terraciano. We joined him for the summer tour on June 15, and spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon learning about deciduous tree foliage.
The cemetery is currently preparing to become certified as an arboretum, and is going through the arduous task of identifying and labeling all of its trees. The cemetery is open every day from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM and is free to visitors. There is plenty of parking. Click here for a map. If you are interested in the Fall or Winter arboretum tours, which are also free, email email@example.com.
|Tricolor beech Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata'|
|Thornless Honeylocust Gleditsia triacanthos inermis|
|Mausoleums and acers|
|Corkscrew willow Salix matsudana|
Leaves, stems and branches -- all are twisted.
|Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima|
It doesn't look like an oak, but it has acorns.
|Bigleaf magnolia Magnolia macrophylla|
|Kousa dogwood Cornus kousa|
in full bloom
|Three 100+ year old copper beeches Fagus sylvatica|
Thursday, July 4, 2013
|Cardoon in bud|
|Master Gardeners Eldredge Ragsdale and|
Mary Ellen Post
We encourage you all to stop by the garden sometime soon.
Previous blogs on Cardoons