Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome to my garden, and meet my cicada killers!

Why does the world need another garden blog you might ask. Short answer: it doesn't. After five years testing vegetables and flowers at the Organic Gardening test garden in Emmaus, PA, and many seasons of making properties beautiful with limited time and resources, I have morphed into a garden coach for friends and clients. Adopting the title merely makes it official.
        Some of the challenges I face in Pennsylvania may be familiar, some of the solutions, applicable. I love what I do, love to share what I learn, and especially love to learn from my and others' garden experiences. My main interests: plants that solve landscape problems, winning combinations, great new plants, insect solutions, how to build better soil, and of course, shortcuts to creating beautiful gardens. 
        Here is this week's challenge: the cicada killer wasp. It is a beneficial, mild-mannered but monstrous critter that wants nothing more than to drag cicadas into its underground lair to nourish its offspring. This summer I've resolved to swat every one I see burrowing into the sides of my pond with a tennis racket. Heartless, yes. Ecologically incorrect, yes. But I have watched in proper fascination for two years as the soil has been unearthed from below my steps, and mounded on my 'Kent Beauty' oregano. The steps have sunk, the oregano has suffered, and I've dodged the amorous monsters as they've swooped and raced about me on my way from house to car. It's time time they found somewhere else to live. My clever plan is to leave the carcasses in plain view for their companions to see. Will this deter? Check in later to see. Yesterday I swatted three!
        Don't hate me.

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