Things in the garden #5

Things are going pretty well in the garden here at Chez Bishop. The little orange tree that I hard pruned is going great, the mussaendas like their new spot, the allamandas are growing like crazy (one is about 8 feet tall now, despite being in a tiny pot), and the solandra is flourishing — I’ve got it heavily staked and it seems to have remembered that it’s a giant vine — and I think I can officially say that the rose is a climber. The clerodendrum hasn’t flowered again yet, but it’s otherwise doing well in the shade.

Two of the hibiscus — the maple leaf and a sunny yellow one — had aphids, and after organic measures failed, I capitulated and bought some chemical pesticide, which did the trick. The only plants that aren’t doing too well are, sadly, the daturas. They’re flowering all right, but they’re a mecca for scale insects, and their leaves are consistently yellowed, not to mention covered in those wiggly insect trails. If I can’t figure out how to treat them so that their foliage stays healthy I am going to get rid of them, as even such beautiful flowers don’t make up for grotty-looking plants.

The Mealy Bug Tree still has mealy bug, but not such a terrible infestation, and it’s getting a lot of new growth and putting out fruit, so I guess it must be basically ok. The perfume flower tree has a lot of blooms, and it smells wonderful. It seems to like plenty of water and a decent amount of fertiliser. I would love to have a garden with one (or more!) of these trees growing in the ground to full size.

4 thoughts on “Things in the garden #5

  1. Nooo, your poor datura! I think I’ve been able to get rid of scale infestations before, and preclude further ones, with fairly gentle insecticidal soaps (ones containing pyrethrin) – have you tried such measures yet? (Like you with your aphids, I did a lot of hard work first with stuff like just-plain dish soap and rubbing alcohol, but had to cave eventually and go the insecticidal route.)

    BTW, I’m picturing all of your little planting zones illustrated in a schematic that looks suspiciously similar to the maps in the Chronicles of Narnia.

    • I’ve been hand-wiping the daturas with alcohol — the insects are so numerous that the pesticide spray doesn’t reach every member of the herd.

      I haven’t tried insecticidal soap yet. I need to look for gentle liquid soap at a health food store. I tried regular Ivory soap on one of the hibiscus, but while it killed quite a few aphids it didn’t get them all and they came back.

      Encouragingly, though, on inspecting the daturas this morning, there’s no resurgence of scale. They still have a lot of grotty leaves, but mostly low down, so maybe they just drop leaves as they grow.

      > similar to the maps in the Chronicles of Narnia
      Well, there *are* a couple of lamp posts ;-)

      • I had problems with alcohol burning the foliage a bit when repeatedly applied, but it does look like datura has pretty sturdy leaves! Hope your cohort bounce back from the scaly hordes.

        Re: insecticidal soap – supposedly the pyrethrin remains on and can even be absorbed into the foliage, so it’s supposed to help prevent further infestations – just as a maybe-handy FYI.

        > lamp posts
        <3 ! And rather a lot of fauns in the near vicinity, too, come to think of it…

        • I don’t think I’ve seen pyrethrin here, though it must be available somewhere. Datura does have quite sturdy leaves (and I gather they’re juicy and delicious too), but it’s possibly that some of their crappy appearance is due to the alcohol — I hadn’t thought of that!

          I do want to make a few garden fauns and fairies, actually. Maybe a louche faun loitering under a lamp…

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