Photo Friday: follow me!

You’ve been here many times before, but I had so much fun discovering what’s been happening behind the scenes that I just had to share with you dear reader.

First, thing you’ll notice is that my sunflowers are now about 12 feet tall! Walking in the garden with these behemoths towering overhead makes me feel like a child again…

But now I turn your attention to looking closer, underneath the leaves here, where you will find squash blossoms and immature fruits awaiting pollination. 

What’s that you say?

You spy bugs in the blossoms?

Not to worry.  Keep up with me now.

Here’s a surprise!  Naked Ladies bounding up from the ground where I was sure they would be never seen again!   You see there was in incident with that rototiller earlier in the season…  Yet there were survivors and…

What?

Oh, yes I saw it too, another little bug in the flower, and it’s eating the pollen you say?  Don’t worry, just follow me…

 Having never grown cotton before I was enchanted with how the flower buds reminded me of ceremonial Thai hats.

We had a couple of 2 X 4 Tarter tank water troughs hanging about, left over from brooding chicks and geese.  So we moved one into the garden and attached a lovely faucet handle (brought all the way from the house in California) into the drain hole.  Now I fill it from the well and it gently soaks the garden on days with no rain.  I think it looks lovely and it is definitely practical don’t you agree?

I thought these were stunning so I captured them for you too...

 I’ve entitled it: 

A Mother’s Adoration

So as you have noticed I have bugs.  I chose not to spray and that’s what you get when you don’t use chemicals.  Lots of bugs!  Instead I planted flowers in the midst of the garden and that, my friends, brought in more bugs.

the reinforcements!

So, allow me to introduce you to my equalizers…

The Fairy Lacewing

A Dragonfly

(He must have flown in from my last post! 😉 )

Looking closely we see evidence that parasitic wasps have taken up residence amongst the tomatoes…  I know it offends your sensibilities, and for that I am sorry, but it is a bug eat bug world out there and without the beneficials we would go wanting!

And now finally…

SPIDER ALERT!

OK, you’ve been officially warned.

(Please do click on her for a closer look, and if you can stand it, click on her again to really see her in detail.)

I found this beautiful lady!  She’s one and one half inches long (including legs)!  Do you see her suitor in the background?

For those bugs who would seek to destroy my garden by their sheer numbers, Japanese beetles and squash bugs, well there is the bucket of water for them…  I gather them up every morning and take them over to my chickens and the WeeChoo.  The chickens make short work of the Japanese beetles, and My guinea hen “WeeChoo” eats the squash/stink bugs!

Yes, my garden is full of insects.  Some of my plants have holes in the leaves and I lose a few to the bad guys now and again.  However, as time goes by the good should outweigh the bad.

In the end, I have the confidence of knowing that I can eat what I grow without fear.   It also makes me glad that I have not added anything to the environment that would do harm.

It is a great feeling.

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16 thoughts on “Photo Friday: follow me!

  1. lscheuer says:

    It is a great feeling that you’re doing things right. Thank you for sharing these awesome images. …and I did click twice on your spider – She’s lovely. What a visual treat late-summer brings us!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lauren, I have to say that I did feel a bit sad about posting the tomato horn worm picture, especially after your lovely post about the one you found in your garden…

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hey thanks Rich! Was thinking about you today. So what was I thinking? I was thinking about how I never see or hear from you anymore! My fault, just don’t spend much time on the FB like I used to. So glad you stopped by! 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      That’s how I feel about my garden. Next year I will have to plant extra squash though, I lost all my zucchini, but maybe not 14 plants! Hahaha! Signed up for your blog and look forward to reading what you’re up to. 😉

  2. Ruth Barnes says:

    Great garden Lynda. I have green beans,beets, onions had some peas and lots of tomatoes. no sunflowers this year, just marigolds and petunias. Also have naked ladies too.

    Ruth

    • pixilated2 says:

      Sounds wonderful Ruth! How about posting some pictures on your FB page so I can see them? Sure do miss you lady… have you been out painting lately?

  3. Anke says:

    Lovely pictures Lynda, even the one of the spider. 🙂 I try to garden without chemicals as well, but this year had been a bit discouraging. Lots of beetles, squash bugs, white flies… But there is always next year, right?

  4. pixilated2 says:

    Yes! And every year the good bugs will continue to equalize what we are fighting against. So far… I don’t have white fly. They are very hard to get rid of. A friend of mine years ago posed a risky way of elimination:

    “Roll up newspaper, lite it on fire, shake the plant(s) vigorously, and when they fly up into the air… burn those little suckers up.”

    I really can’t say I recommend it. 😛

    If you have the beetles, but don’t have chickens, you can put a drop or two of dish soap into your pail of water and collect them into it each morning. When they stop swimming, then put them into your compost pile. It’s gross, but it works. OH YEAH, they have a maddening habit of dropping off to the ground when you try to catch them, so hold your bucket underneath the catch them as they fall! 😉

  5. Lindy says:

    Lynda, what a fascinating and very well written post. Your lady spider is gorgeous when viewed in full screen mode. I love your snail faucet – must keep my eyes peeled for a special faucet for my new house. 😀

    I do not spray either – anything that ends with “. . . cides” has no place in my world and therefore we have lots of tiny critters. We have had a monster dragonfly visiting of late but s/he does not land long enough to capture a picture. A very busy fella this one.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lindy, Those dragonflies are busy fliers and hard to capture. This one landed, I clicked, it was gone! I must confess, that at times the urge to grab the sprayer pulled at me when all the insects began sucking and chewing, but waiting it out seems to have done the trick! I have never seen so many beneficial insects in one little plot before. I believe we have been brainwashed into believing that you must spray and have perfect looking plants or else you are not a successful gardener. Not so. Today I turned the silkies loose to search and destroy. The added cleanup should help with the flea and bean beetles now that the plants are all tall enough not to be scratched out of the ground and eaten. I may have a few pecks out of the lowest tomatoes, but it is their reward for their hard work! 😉

  6. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    And you truly do deserve to feel good about your wonderful garden biosphere – balance is SUCH a good thing! Thanks so much for the tour and wowing me with your excellent shots… Could you by chance send a few of those parasitic wasps my way? (I seem to have more than my fair share of Tomato Hornworms to feed them; ) xo D.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Would that I could, but perhaps I could suggest that you go out in the dark with the flashlight and search them out, or at the very least, very early in the morning before they go to bed? 😉

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