The Clueless Gardener

"fanaticus sine potestas"

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Logus of the Bogus

Yes, this is the time of year when my garden gets Logus of the Bogus. This is the official term for shrivelled, diseased leaves, overwhelming earwig and slug damage, and plants in the garden generally giving up the ghost. The flowerbed has a good case of Logus this year, so I have been cutting down the plant stalks of the perennials that have turned yellow or [mostly] black. I cut down my Etoile Violette clematis weeks ago; it always gets a bad dose of Logus. My beloved willow-leafed pear, which used to grace the masthead of this blog, has a particularly bad case, and has lost almost all its leaves. Deer eat most of them, and Logus takes the rest. Should I spray in early spring when the leaves bud out? Of course. Have I ever done it? Of course not. My fear and abhorrance of poisons in the yard and garden have prevented me from tapping this remedy, so I must live with the consequences. Poor pretty tree: Vita would be scandalized at how I neglect you.
On this 80-degree October day, as I cut down the stalks of various plants, I hope for the best, even though I am eliminating hiding spots and habitat for little creatures, such as the sweet little toad I came across last week. Somebody lumbered into the flowerbed and bedded down on the Stella D'Oro lilies...both of them! Since they were riddled with earwig damage and their souls had left their leaves for another season, they went to the compost, too. Besides, I don't like them, and they make the garden look like a drive-thru bank. All that's missing is the red mulch! Please don't ask me why I planted them.
Deer and rabbits still rampant. It's hard to mind, as I feel bad interfering with any animal or insect who's hanging around these parts. I have the west field mowed every fall so I can plant daff bulbs for spring, but I worry that I deprive the bunnies of their habitat. I was relieved to see the bunny feeding on the lawn last night, so I feel less guilty. Right now as I type this, I am looking out at the bird feeder, with a white-breasted nuthatch and chickadees the main visitors. I do yell out the window when the squirrel or chipmunk climbs onto the feeder, and that, at least, doesn't make me feel guilty!
The house is infested with mice, or what I think might be meadow voles. We are forced to extricate them, in that we are going to rent the house for the winter, and we need the house to be reasonably mouse-free for the tenants. To my horror, we are putting out mouse bait and traps, because at this point it's thems or usses! Human civilization must stand at some point, I guess, and this is it for me.
Bouquets still possible! The cosmos is still going, a few nicotianas, verbena boriensis, anemone, and a few of those millionbells from the containers make a nice wild bunch. I am still gingerly avoiding the quadrant of the flowerbed that has become the home of an underground hive of what look like small bumblebees. They're the guys who have been chasing me out of the yard all summer. I only saw a big lumbering old bumble, not from the subterranean nest, and he came straight at me, and I had to duck to get out of the way! I think I have one honeybee, bless its little bee heart.
Sun is setting, compost is heaped. Time for a beer. Will frost come soon? I wonder.