There Be Dragons In The Roses!

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This summer has been a huge adventure for me.  My roses are thriving here at our new home, and I have cared for them daily all summer.  We had almost 10″ of rain throughout August, so yesterday was the first time I watered all month long.  I have been careful with my spray program, but now that we are at the end of the month, decisions must be made.  The dragons have arrived in my gardens!  To me, dragonflies are jewels among the roses.

All Are Welcome

I have spent a lot of time over the last week watching my winged visitors.  I wish each one I see a good day.  I like to put out my index finger for them to climb on and take a rest and I speak to them about relevant things.  I love to watch them turn their heads and watch me as I move.  I wonder what I must look like to these lovely dragonflies with their compound eyes.  There are many of them, big and small. They come in many colors: black, white, red, blue, and the other day I spotted a huge neon green one!

Attending to business

I have noticed in my observations that if I look very closely on a bright morning, there are miniscule cyclones of tiny flies spiraling up from my rose blooms.  A dragon perched on my finger took off and started gobbling up all those little flies and then landed upon a rose and thrust its veined cellophane wings forward.  He looked at me and turned his head as he chewed up his breakfast and took off again for another helping.  These flies are tiny, and I imagine they are thrips or midges…I thank my friends the dragons for feasting on the worst foes in the rose garden.

Changing Seasons

Signs are all around us.  The first of the leaves are changing color, the sun is rising later and setting earlier

, and the late-summer nighttime symphony plays to a standing room only audience each twilight.  Katydids, crickets, and cicadas compete for center stage with their personal melodies from dusk to dawn.  And the many dragonflies are cleaning up pesky little pests before they can lay their eggs for next year.  I decided that for the rest of the year, nature can take its course.  I have stopped deadheading so the roses can prepare for dormancy.  I bring a basket to the gardens and pull the spent petals from the plants and save them in the basket to throw as confetti when visitors leave and to decorate the sidewalk out front.  Spraying is finished as I see no disease in my gardens and most of the beetles are finished.  I did lay down Milky Spore Disease for the grubs (larval form of Japanese and other scarab beetles) so that will be working its magic to control beetle infestations in the future.  These fierce dragons of the garden have made my life easier for the rest of the growing season by feasting in the gardens.  I welcome them as my Insect Air Force, and they patrol from dawn to dusk.  Lucky me!


Meet Marci Martin

Marci Martin fell in love with roses when she was a little girl, and the love affair goes on. She has been growing roses for…

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