Canna damage

Friday, August 20, 2010

Canna damage
Originally uploaded by sassycrafter
The other day, I noticed a lot of damage on this canna. I figured I'd better take a look at the plant and see what was going on. After a brief scouting session, I found a hungry larger canna leaf roller that was treating my beloved canna like his own personal all-you-can-eat buffet. This was definitely not cool in my book, since this was the Canna 'Intrigue' that I paid good money for on my trip to Plant Delights Nursery.

If you live in Florida and don't know about canna leaf rollers, then it's time you learned. Most of the people I work with here at UF/IFAS would probably agree that leaf rollers are the most troublesome canna pests in our state. In fact, all of the damage that I found on my plant seemed to be the result of a single critter. Sure, it took me a few days between when I noticed the problem and when I checked it out. But still -- that's a lot of damage for just one caterpillar.
Larger canna leaf roller (UF/IFAS)

The lesser canna leaf roller can be a little harder to discover. These caterpillars are much smaller and typically roll themselves up in the edge of a leaf, where they then feed only on the top layer of the leaf.

Lesser canna leaf roller (UF/IFAS)
So if you have cannas in your yard, be sure to scout for pests often. It's a snap to make your own scouting kit, and it's much easier to get a problem under control if you find it early. You can hand pick the pests if there's just a few of them, or treat the plant with a biorational insecticide like Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that kills the caterpillars without harming beneficial insects.

Needless to say, that leaf roller won't be bothering my plants again.

Dreaming of a cooler time--Pacific Northwest, Part III

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's officially hot. Temperatures have been in the mid-90s or higher for days now, and the heat index has gotten as high as 105. Both me and my poor plants feel like we're melting, so I figured now was as good a time as any to put up those final photos from my spring trip to the Pacific Northwest.

After we left Seattle, we were destined for Victoria, BC. We drove to Post Angeles and then took the ferry across the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

The weather was pretty amazing while we were in Victoria, BC -- not too hot and not too cold. We poked around the town area for a day or two, and then headed to our ultimate destination -- the world-famous Butchart Gardens. The place was pretty surreal -- kind of like Walt Disney World for gardeners.

Here's the shot that everyone takes when they visit Butchart -- the view from the staircase at the top of the sunken garden. There's a really cool story behind this garden.

Sunken garden at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

It was a little overcast during part of the day, but the place was still non-stop, in-your-face texture and color.

Amazing orange tulips at Butchart Gardens

Yellow and green tulips at Butchart Gardens

See what I mean? Those tulips were insane! I swear that I didn't Photoshop these shots to enhance the color. And speaking of tulips, I couldn't believe how well our shirts matched the tulips in this shot. Crazy, eh?

Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

It seemed like everything was bigger and better at Butchart. Get a load of this arborvitae hedge -- it has to be one of the hugest hedges I've ever seen. Jason is just barely visible at the base of the hedge, even though he's over 6 feet tall. If you're trying to create privacy in your yard, this is definitely the way to do it!

Huge arborvitae hedge at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

On a smaller scale, I thought this was a clever and inexpensive way to create a visual barrier between a path and a lawn area. I guess if you have close to a million visitors each year, it's important to keep them off of the lawn.

Split bamboo edging at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

And I know this shot doesn't look like much, but I had to share it. Those little stumps in the right side of the frame are bananas! Yes! Bananas in Canada! My guess is that they have to cut them to the ground each fall and protect them with straw, but they might be left to fend on their own. I'm guessing they're Musa basjoo.

Bananas in Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

Well, that's about it for Butchart. I guess now it's time for me to brave the heat and turn over a new leaf, pulling out the melted plants in my yard. Ugh. Wish me luck!

Sunken garden at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC