It starts with a dragonfly

A dragonfly is to thank for today's post. Strangely enough you won't be seeing any dragonfly images though, but what was to be a moment's stop at the edge of the pond after bringing some perilla cuttings to the compost pile became a half hour of exploration of the garden.

All thanks to a dragonfly that was laying eggs around the pond. She wasn't laying in the water though like this previous one was -- she was targeting areas above the waterline. By the time I got my camera and came back she was gone, but I knew where she appeared to deposit some eggs.


For instance, here on this half-submerged block:

Try as I might I could not see the eggs, although some of the algae structures looked promising at first.

She hit this leaf too...

...but I couldn't see anything. I guess it would help if I knew exactly what to look for.

What I did see next to this leaf though...

...was a hole in my pond liner! (See it in the center of the frame there?)

I noticed a week or so ago that the level in the pond was quite low, as you can see here on the rocks:

I thought it was to lack of rain and dry, windy days. The day after filling it though it was back down to the same level, and for some reason I couldn't see these holes. Yes, "holes" plural, because there was another one a couple of feet from the first:

I'm thinking that some animal must have gnawed those holes, or maybe it was the Petasites trying to get a bit more water:

This has been a bad summer for the Petasites japonicus as I just couldn't keep them watered enough. They've died back once and have just recently put out some new growth. I'll need to do something to improve the growing conditions for them next year.

Since the holes in the liner are so close to the edge I'll just rearrange the rocks along the border to raise the holes higher (they'll be above the waterline after I do it), add more water, and see if there are more leaks.

Now that I'm out here with the camera, it makes sense to look around a bit, right?

The Semiarundinaria okuboi bamboo is looking pretty great right now:

It needs a little water and its fall feeding, but I love the look of this species!

The Pennisetum 'Moudry' is doing its best to convince me not to remove it...

...but it reseeds so heavily -- even into the lawn -- that it has to go. I'll need to find a replacement grass I think.

The patio is almost completely hidden thanks to the maypop (Passiflora incarnata) and the Miscanthus 'Morning Light' that I planted here:

The Japanese maple is also almost hidden by the maypop, but that's fine as it looks best earlier in the year and gets a bit tired after mid-summer's heat.

Mike (who gave me these plants) says that I should cut down my peony foliage and discard to prevent disease:

I don't think I did this last year, but the plants are much fuller this year with more foliage to cause problems. (Anybody have thoughts on this?)

My new Astilboides tabularis (and its partner, picked up at a 1/2-off plant sale recently) are now in the ground:

They're going to look so good here in another year or two...

...even though they're just little specks of foliage right now. I'm excited about this one!

What else is interesting... Let's see...

I'm starting to find mantis egg cases everywhere:

This lungwort has some of the worst powdery mildew I've ever seen:

I'll have to keep an eye on it next year. Blech!

Hey, bamboo fruit!

Just kidding -- of course it's maypop (Passiflora incarnata) growing into the bamboo, but still a strange sight at first glance.

Lastly, the front walkway is so colorful, if not a bit dry:

That north side of the walkway garden was so great this year! (The south side needs some work though...)

Thank the dragonfly for inspiring me to get out and about in the garden! (Today the weather itself will motivate me to do so, as it will be quite warm and lovely!)


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outlawgardener  – (October 20, 2015 at 9:37 AM)  

So many interesting things happening in your garden! It was good of the dragonfly to encourage you to explore and share. I've heard that it's best practice to do that with peony foliage but most years I forget and, knock wood, have had no disease problems yet.

Mark and Gaz  – (October 20, 2015 at 3:39 PM)  

Nice mix of images in your garden Alan :) lots of beauty there and so much interest! Ouch with the hole on the pond liner though!

Lisa  – (October 21, 2015 at 5:30 AM)  

I did not cut my peonys back last year and paid the price this year with some kind of black spotted something or another on the foliage. Down to the ground they go this year.

Could deer have punctured your liner? The holes look more like tears than chew holes from the pictures. Just a thought.

Alan  – (October 21, 2015 at 6:38 AM)  

Peter and Lisa: I'll probably cut the foliage back very soon, but won't fret if I don't. Mike insisted that the disease that I should be worried about would actually kill the plant, not just cause black spots or similar.

Also, the pond liner actually has pieces missing -- they certainly are holes and not just tears/rips. Deer are a strong possibility, although I know that they wade into the pond and there are no holes in the depths...

www.ravenscourtgardens. com  – (October 22, 2015 at 5:28 PM)  

Thank you Dragonfly : ) A lovely autumn tour round your garden!

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