Dear Friends and Gardeners July 12, 2010

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Wasn’t Buffa10 just about the most fun you’ve had as a garden blogger?

I got home yesterday well before dark, just in time to see that a tomato hornworm had devoured most of a pepper plant. I’ve never had a hornworm eat a pepper plant, but I guess they do, especially if they want something a little spicier than a tomato plant. (Insert laughter here.)

Fortunately, this morning I found the hornworm on a nearby tomato plant - probably wanted something more mild for breakfast. (Insert laughter here.)

He (or she) then met with an untimely death.

Other gardeners have suggested I put the hornworms out in the open so birds can find them and eat them, rather than doing with them what I do with them, but this morning I just didn’t want to take my chances. I’ll spare you the details of how I, a mild-mannered grower of vegetables, did such a thing as clip off the branch where the hornworm was, fling it to the ground, cover it with dirt and stomp on it. The dirt helps to keep your shoes clean, by the way. Anyway, I won’t go over those details. (Insert evil laughter here.)

Then I saw that some critter has eaten off nearly an entire row of sunflowers, leaving just the tallest ones. Who eats sunflower plants? It’s not a trick question. The answer is… rabbits!! And here I thought they were gone.

And in my little grouping of container plantings under the honeylocust tree I saw that most likely a chipmunk devoured an entire double-flowering impatien. I’ll spare you a picture of the carnage. You can just imagine it. Nothing is left of the plant.

Well, bring on those chipmunks, rabbits, and hornworms. I’m feeling quite rested and re-invigorated after spending these past few days seeing so many inspiring gardens in Buffalo and rubbing elbows with so many other garden bloggers. Bring on those pests, both the six-legged and four-legged kind! I’m ready to take them down, one and all. My garden! I will defend it! (Insert raised fist here.)

Other than those issues, the garden got along okay without me. This morning I picked green beans and squash, including a great big ‘Cue Ball’ squash that had to be sacrificed to the compost bins due to its size. I also noted the first blush of red on the ‘Stupice’ tomato variety. It won’t be long now before I have some ripe tomatoes to brag about!

I swear I had the harvest in a basket to take a picture of it, like I usually do, but when I uploaded the pictures I took, this is the only one of the harvest.

(Insert picture here of my harvest trug sitting all by itself in the middle of the patio. I ran out of picture storage on Google/Picasa/Blogger! Can you imagine? But I bought more so I should be good to go tomorrow and will definitely be good to go for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th... that's this Thursday.)

(Wait, I tweeted that picture earlier so you can see it on on Twitter!)

(And here it is... )

It shows the relative size of the new patio. It is about 30 feet wide and 21 feet to the tip of the curved edge. I love it and am still amazed when I open the back door to step outside that it is my patio.

That’s pretty much it from my garden. I think now it is time for a nap, for me to close my eyes and strategize on how I will outwit the critters who want to eat in my garden before I do.

Carpe hortus!


P.S. I forgot to mention that I can see the silks on the little ears of corn. Hopefully, I won’t end up with raccoons in the garden trying to get to my corn before I do. I’ve got my hands full as it is with chipmunks, hornworms and rabbits. I don’t need raccoons, too.


  1. I don't know what I'd do if I found a hornworm on my tomatoes, as I know they're the larvae of the hummingbird moth, which I long to see. Guess it will depend on whether I long to see tomatoes more.

    It was really, really great to meet you at Buffa10. Thanks for sharing all your bloggingability with us. And frequently making us laugh (insert laughter here).

  2. Ew, ew, ew! I hate tomato hornworms even more than I hate Japanese Beetles. We'll be getting them in our garden soon - is there any way to prevent them, other than spraying? Which I don't like to do but will if I'm desperate enough.

  3. Appears everyone had fun in Buffalo. I don't take chances with those pests either, squash them but good! I still like the look of your new patio.

  4. I hate! hate! hate! tomato horn worms.

    I had very bad experiences with them two years ago when I planted Zucchini, They totally destroyed the plants snapping them in half.. Yes! Coral Stump every one you find!

    The Rabbits are back" Yikes!! Okay Carol It's time that you put on your Armor...

    It's Great that you took a nice little vacation and now have the strength to go to WAR!

  5. You are such a funny girl. I'm sorry, I had to finish my NGBFF's post today. I'll write my letter next week. I have a lot of tomatoes.~~Dee

  6. You are TOO funny. :-) Lovely to see you again Carol!

  7. Look at that beautiful patio! And with a trug for scale--how thoughtful. I'm finally seeing some pics. My heart is at ease.

    ;-) It was so fun to see you in Buffalo, as always, Carol. Until next time...

  8. This normally peace-loving woman turns into a cold-hearted killer when it comes to tomato worms, too. No mercy here.

    Your patio looks beautiful, Carol!


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