Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features

What’s Flowering in Barbie’s Garden

It is amazing – I did not think my garden had much happening in the way of blooms! But I did find some. This is what’s flowering in my garden at the moment. My roses are always a great pride! They never let me down!

[one_half]Potato TreePotato Tree[/one_half]



[one_half_last]Pink RoseRose[/one_half_last]

Bugs & Pests Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Trees

Lemon Tree Rescue

Clean lemon treeI was trying to come up with a good Title for this post that would describe the nature of it at a glance and I couldn’t decide whether “Operation Lemon Tree” or “Lemon Tree Rescue” would be more appropriate. The gist of it is that my poor Lemon Tree has been under attack by black, green AND woolly aphids and other things I could not identify. Since January I’ve been trying to cure it. I sprayed … it got worse! I sprayed again … it got even worse. I pruned it a bit, watered it well, mulched it, loved it, talked to it … I even begged the aphids to leave – all to no avail. It just got worse.

It is a very tall tree so I set up the ladder and climbed up to spray it some more with the result that I got a faceful of “spray”. Ugh! I was at my wits end with it and was contemplating chopping it down, but it still produces lemons even with all the creepies living on the leaves and yesterday we noticed that it even has flowers. So I decided in a last ditch attempt today to get back up that ladder and hand-wash each and every leaf and stalk to rid it of these pests. The “mixture” we used to wash it with included garlic, some crushed basil and ordinary soap.

So here we are many hours later with one aphid-free lemon tree. We’ve added some more compost, planted the mint and a few nasturtium seedlings below it, I’ve said a little prayer and now we will wait to see what happens.

[one_half]Aphid-free Lemon TreeAphid free lemon tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Aphid deterrents at ground levelPeppermint and Nasturtiums[/one_half_last]

Bugs & Pests Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Impulse buy Peppermint plant

Peppermint PlantI bought a little peppermint plant on Sunday – on an impulse – because I love the smell, and it looked pretty. Now of course I had to do some research because I need to find a good spot for it in my garden. Mine is called “Mentha peperita nigra”. It looks like a dead ordinary mint plant to me – I remember these from my childhood – we had this in a garden somewhere once … I think that’s why I love it, the smell reminds me of early childhood.

Back to my research – The very first thing I find is this warning: Mint grows very easily and is VERY invasive. If you don’t keep it well contained, it will easily and quickly grow into other areas of your garden! (from howtogarden). Thanks guys. Why don’t they write this on the little pots that entice impulse-buyers like myself at the Nurseries? … Ok, no problem, I’ll keep it in check. The last thing I need is another “Ivy-type invasion” happening in my garden.

On the positive side, I’ve learnt that Peppermint repels many harmful insects including two that trouble me, ants and aphids! Yipee! Next I read that Mint will grow nearly anywhere, but you will have the most success (and the least troubles in terms of plant diseases and insects) if you grow it in semi-fertile soil in a partial shade location in your garden – Sounds like this little plant was “meant-to-be” in my garden!

Guess where Mr Peppermint is going? Joining the Nasturtiums below the Lemon Tree!