Beauty Shots (No mantises)

You might remember me mentioning, a while ago, that I had bought a preying mantis ootheca back in, oh, April? Well, I sat it in the V of a branch in a container, and set it in the windowsill, ensuring the sphagnum moss on the bottom of the container would stay moist to maintain a comfortable hatching humidity. Yes, I checked it every day, anxious to see something more than what I got last time (which was 2, yes 2 and they disappeared).

Well, midway through vacation, I discover my house-sitting friend has come in to a container FILLED with mantises. They had hatched in my absence! I would like to say she did very well, went the extra mile to ensure their comfort until I got hope, considering she isn’t really a bug person.

So I came home, admired them, and noticed that they had begun to cannibalize eachother. Because they do that if there’s no food. They become food. This just wouldn’t do. So I did what I was planning to do all along anyway. I brought them into my greenhouse (the mini crystal) and opened the top. At first, it was a fun, playful affair of letting them crawl on my fingers and guide them onto my plants. And then, it got old quickly, because let’s face it, there were at least a  couple hundred of them to release. I set the container on the floor of the greenhouse, and allowed them to exit at their leisure. Some continued to eat eachother, others perched patiently on my plants.

Aaaaaaaand that’s the end of the story.

Wait…what? Yeah, that’s it. I can’t find them. They’re all gone, vanished, poof. My mantises all disappeared. Or perhaps they perished. Or maybe they are quietly hidden in the greenhouse weeds, eating, waiting, molting. One day, maybe I’ll find one.

Or not. The lesson to be learned today is that you can’t control nature. It doesn’t go where you want. I sometimes forget that in gardening, you can sort of pin things where you want them, but with insects, I have no idea. I just hope one day, one survived. We shall see.

The size of an ant in this photo.

That was terribly depressing, wasn’t it? How about I offer you a consolation of BEAUTY SHOTS in the garden? It has been a beautiful week! I’ll share a few sights. One day, I have a dream to be able to have something nice enough to not stand so close to it. Like, a full view of a garden. But not on this day.



Crab spiders live in my greenhouse, apparently. I found this one perched on a ficus I am currently experimenting with on scale treatments (nothing terribly noxious for spiders and beneficials). After the writing spiders, this one is definitely one of my favorites.

20160608_171946There we go, NOW we are in the full splendor of the Laburnum (Golden Chain Tree). But I promise you I STILL cannot do it justice with my camera. This thing is just absolutely alive, it really glows so brightly that it almost brightens up the dining room. I’ve never seen one quite as big as this one. Its hardiness zone is just a little sketchy. Some can grow it, if it’s sheltered enough. Mine is nestled between the house and a very large maple. After flowering, it’s an overall softly textured tree with greenish bark.


20160610_114205One of the existing perennials I’ve cultivated in the rock garden, Alchemilla mollis. This one got a major tidy up. It’s sort of boring for some until you appreciate it after a rainfall, as the water beads on the leaves.  At some point over the fall/winter, I stuffed a little snail decoration in the garden. The resulting image followed after it fully leafed out. I’m definitely not moving my snail. It’s so creepy and endearing.


20160610_115324.jpgWhen I cleaned Bird City garden back in march, I was just scooping up dead leaves and trimming hollow flower stems from last year. It really seemed like nothing was coming. Well, since then it has exploded massively into a really lush patch of foliage, and dainty flowers dotting throughout. I am actually really pleased with the look of it and I probably won’t alter it unless to keep runners/seedlings in check. I am not 100% familiar with these varieties (shout it out if you know) but I believe these to be a type of thistle. As for the pink tufts, no clue. There are some small white Anemones also dotting throughout, further along the driveway, and peonies! Later, you will find tall Phlox, and really beautiful cultivars with pink/fuchsia marbled flowers.


I always wanted poppies when I was young and fresh into my journey of gardening. Well, they are now with me!


That’s all I have for today. Next week I wish to be happy to report I am going to be finished mulching/composting around my gardens, but right now I’m battling a bit of a cold and it has been a watery-eyed battle to tap this entry out. I must relax. Relax with a book in my lap, if I must. Tch, okay, I’ll be outside as soon as I don’t need a kleenex stopper in my nose. Happy Monday!


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