Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homage to Monty Python


Spring is the time where we check on the life of all our emerging plant material.  Some make it, some don't do quite so well.  I was SURE this Amsonia hubrechtii was dead.  Have another one about ten feet away that is in bloom.   This was a plant for which  I ordered a replacement in my winnings from John's contest.  (more to follow on the goodies from that order)







The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead! [a man puts a body on the cart, unaware of the fact that the man is actually alive]
Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.
The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
The Dead Collector: What?
Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. [hands the collector his money] There's your ninepence.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead!
The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not.
The Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better.

True to the Monty Python scene, he wasn't dead! Or she wasn't dead...or IT wasn't dead.  I was planting some newly arrived plants on Thursday and on my hands and knees right next to this 'dead' Amsonia.   Look what I saw--- new growth, tiny but it was there!!
Luckily I have plenty of room for my new Amsonias.....so this one will stay put and it will fill in -- eventually.

I have been known to have a laissez faire  (and here) attitude with many of my plants.  Wait and see, not eager to pull, or cut, something out that isn't going gangbusters.   When you wait, sometimes you are rewarded with new growth.  The Gaillardia below was almost given up on.  I yanked on it a few times...but it did not yield.   I am pleased to say it is full of new growth.


Here, you can see it better --


The one next to it has been blooming.  Funny how one is doing well and the next one is slow to emerge from dormancy.

Some plants have had a rough time because of underground critters (voles?) and some have had to struggle with their foliage being eaten by all sorts of caterpillars.   Poor Osmanthus fragrans, much of its new growth is gone, eaten to a nub.

See this interesting leaf munchers/suckers I found in the garden this week......

Love the colors and design on this one...it was on my Fothergilla.  Almost looks like  little penguins.
Here is a full view.  I do not claim to know the names of all these crawling critters, just find them interesting.

Another one, what a "hair-do"!

Some are colorful, some have all sorts of bristles and antenna, and some are really tiny.

Some of the usual suspects were also finding good eating in my garden.  Aphids and slugs.








Finally, while looking at the new growth on the Pieris japonica 'Cavatine', a Daddy longlegs....tried to get him to go eat the aphids.

Moral of the story...Monty Python.....it's not quite dead.


©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

34 comments:

  1. You've got such a great attitude about gardening! Glad those plants are alive. Never seen anything eat our osmanthus fragrans (and we quite a few).

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    1. Thanks Freda, I am glad the plants are alive too!! There have been a lot of caterpillars and other leaf eaters this spring.

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  2. I appreciate your homage to MP...my husband is a huge fan....he can recite all the lines! Patience is something I need to practice more in my garden. Plants often surprise me...just when I think there is no hope they come alive. Your 'penguin' caterpillar is the forest tent caterpillar. Your crazy hair caterpillar is a white-marked tussock. Very cool caterpillars! Both will become moths. We saw a tussock in our garden last here (if you are interested here is a link to the post http://gardeningsoul.blogspot.com/2011/10/bad-hair-day.html)

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    1. Karin, I am a big Monty Python fan, have been since college. Thanks for the ID on the forest tent caterpillar and the white-marked tussock. Will check your link.

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  3. Hehe! I try to give stuff the benefit of the doubt for a good while too. I have some Amsonia that I thought was dead that is just now showing signs of life. What a lot of fascinating critters you have. Love Monty Python, that bring out yer dead routine is one of my favorites.

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    1. Alison, benefit of the doubt and beyond. :-) Monty Python is the best....love the wit.

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  4. Janet, I agree one hundred percent; patience is a virtue when it comes to gardening. In fact I keep reminding myself to be very careful before I dig any new holes to plant divided perennials. Not everything is up just yet. Have a great Sunday!

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    1. Jennifer, patience is so important in the garden. Some delayed plants will emerge to surprise you!

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  5. The more 'mature' I become in my appreciation of the garden and the way Mother Nature likes to surprise me, I leave plants for a LOOOOOOONG time. It has actually turned out quite surprisingly for the most part.

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    1. Darla, glad you leave plants alone for a loooonnngggg time :-) Patience is a virtue!

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  6. Well, you know what Monty Python always says....No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.

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    1. Gardening Under the Influence, ahahahaha very true!!

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  7. Tour "penguin" caterpillar is as pretty as any flower...and rarer.

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    1. Ricki, it is the first time I have ever seen the 'penguin' caterpillar. Nature is sure fun!

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  8. It IS hard sometimes to resist the urge to pull out a plant that appears dead! I'm guilty ~ once even sickened when I pulled up a foxglove & it was just starting to emerge. ugh. Now I'm giving them more space! Good lesson Janet.

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    1. Kathleen, it is hard to resist the urge. Think it is a lesson I need to be reminded of every year!

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  9. Hi Janet! Congratulations! 'Wait and See' is a good rule!
    My biggest loss right now is about 12 veggie seedlings. I found a culprit, a crane fly larva.

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    1. Tatyana, I think it is a good rule, wait and see. Sorry about the crane fly larva... or rather, sorry about your veggie seedlings.

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  10. I'm playing this game a lot recently. tugging on plants to see if the roots give way, peering for signs of green. It's hard to be patient and just wait to see what happens when other plants are showing signs of growth.

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    1. Marguerite, think a gentle tug is a good method, key on gentle. It is hard to wait.

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  11. Love your critter captures. The caterpillar does look like it is decorated with those penguins from the movie Happy Feet. I am amazed you saw that.

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    1. Donna, thanks, these little critters are sure interesting to see up close. I love penguins. (Lyle Lovett has a song about penguins)

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  12. Great post! LOVE the pics of the caterpillars.

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  13. i have an osmanthus fortunei that i really dont like...but of course nothing has touched it and it's growing like crazy. one of my amsonias is missing, but now you've made me wonder if i accidentally pulled it out because i thought it was dead! i do have a success story along those lines with eupatorium. i ordered 'little joe' with some bulbs last fall, but didn't get it out for weeks (don't tell brent and becky!), and it looked already dead when i finally decided to plant it. but, lo and behold, it sent up some tiny new shoots a few weeks ago, and now looks like it will make it. a garden miracle for sure!

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    1. Daricia, glad your 'Little Joe' survived, sounds like something I would do. Sorry about your amsonia.

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  14. I've been watching for signs of life on several of my plants, too. My Amsonia H. didn't look too good at the end of last year--its first year in the garden--and I was sure it didn't make it through the winter. But it has not only survived, it looks like it's actually going to have some blooms soon. And my clethra has finally put on a few leaves--hooray! I'm not so sure about my beautyberry, though, which was budding out when we got a hard freeze. If that doesn't make it, I'll be so sad. I not only wait awhile to make sure something isn't really dead before pulling it, I also wait awhile to pull seedlings I can't identify, in case they're not really weeds. I've finally decided I have a huge crop of nicotania coming up:)

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    1. Rose, Wow, glad your amsonia came back strong. My Clethra took a long time to leaf out. Love waiting for seedlings to make their identity know!

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  15. Glad to hear someone else thinks this way. It paid off with my acanthus - disappearing after planting a year ago and now sprouting. And now I must also patiently wait for my 2-year old oak leaf hydrangea. Started leafing out 2 months ago then stopped and now looks dead. Cold snap after early warmth?

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    1. Swimray, waiting is sure a good thing, hearing it from all corners! Hope your oakleaf hydrangea has come back.

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  16. I have slowed down on my pulling dead plants and finding some to be late starters! I wonder how many healthy plants I pulled while thinking they were dead... That bluish caterpillar is interesting. I google blue cats and found mostly cartoon type caterpillars but not this one you show. Really pretty but those slimy slugs are bad this year. I am seeing them everywhere! I sprinkle salt on a colony I found under some stones. Hate those things....

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    1. Skeeter, I think many of us are thinking the same thing...was it really alive?? Slugs are nasty.

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  17. Love the shots of those caterpillars, etc. Cyndi Lauper would be jealous! Your writing is great. I love the jaunty tone, allusions, sharp brain, good eye, gardener's heart. Hail fellow well met! Have you seen my blog "The Backyard Dirt" recently?

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    1. Ruth, thanks so much for stopping by, will comment on your blog in a second. I haven't been by for a while.

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