Integrated Pest Management

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that attacks many different plants. Check your gardens, paying special attention to dogwoods, beebalm, phlox, lilacs, and, of course, your roses. Look for a white powdery film on the leaves and flower buds, curled leaves, and stunted growth. This disease thrives when rain is lacking and is spread by the wind. Humid conditions favor powdery mildew, but liquid water kills the spores. You can spray plants daily with water in early morning to prevent powdery mildew. Be sure to provide plants with good air circulation and remove badly infected leaves. If perennials are severely damaged it’s a good idea to cut them back. Horticultural oil controls powdery mildew on a variety of plants. A mixture of one gallon water, one tablespoon baking soda, and a quarter teaspoon dishwashing liquid sprayed every five to seven days also works well as a treatment or a preventive measure.

Fall webworms attack a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs. Look for webs at the tips of branches that shelter large groups of caterpillars. Mature larvae are about one inch long, hairy, and green-yellow in color with black dots. They feed together and never leave the web. As more food is required the web is expanded. The caterpillars may feed for four to six weeks. Prune out any webs and dispose of them. Bacillus thuringiensis can be used on young fall webworms that are less than one half inch long.

Now is the time to check your pines for pine sawflies. Look for masses of one-inch-long larvae that are yellow-green with black dots. Sawflies begin feeding on the tip of a branch and strip one branch before moving on to another. In only a matter of days small pines can be completely defoliated. Because the damage takes place in a short period of time, it is important to check your pines carefully every couple of days. Since they feed together in groups, it is easy to remove the larvae by hand. If the infestation is severe you can spray them with horticultural oil. You may have begun to notice lacebug stippling on your azaleas. It is too late to do any treatment this year, but begin looking for nymphs early next spring. Repeated infestations can contribute to the death of your plants especially if they are growing in full sun.

If hot, dry weather persists, stop watering your lawn and let it go dormant. This will help it avoid diseases during this stressful period. Once temperatures cool down a bit and rain returns, your lawn will perk back up. Check birches, oaks, and hornbeams for yellownecked caterpillars. They are yellow and black with a yellow-orange band around the neck area; when disturbed, they elevate their heads in a defensive posture. They can completely defoliate a tree in days, but because the damage occurs late in the season it isn’t as harmful to the tree as it might appear. Yellownecked caterpillars feed in groups so it is easy to remove them by hand.

Plant lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens after mid-August. Summer heat and drought has taken its toll on slugs, and fall plantings are less likely to be damaged by these slimy molluscs. Most salad greens bolt in response to high night temperatures and long days; the shorter days and cooler nights of late summer prevent bolting. Greens may be harvested as late as early December if the weather is mild.


Born in Singapore and raised in London, this 19-year-old classically trained violinist first gained international prominence with her 1995 album “The Violin Player”. Working with producer Andy Hill (Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Cher), her new album ‘Storm’ explores a wide range of emotions and styles. Ms. Mae is clear when she points out that she intends “to play the music that I want to play, irrespective of all boundaries. Jazz, reggae, classical, pop, techno—-I see no reason why I shouldn’t listen to or play them all. Of course, I respect tradition, but I’m a child of the 90’s, and it’s entirely natural that I should be influenced by those pop artists I see around me”

An eclectic mix of classical music, rock, and techno beats, ‘Storm’ documents a young virtuoso’s successful efforts to defy the boundaries. Standout tracks are a remake of Focus’s 1973 hit “Hocus Pocus,” “Bach Street Preludes” which recasts Bach’s “Partita in E” in a progressive new light, and “Embrasse Moi (You Fly Me Up),” which features Vanessa-Mae’s sultry vocals.

The Earth

It can be so distressing when, after lavishing loving care on the garden, one sees wilting tomato plants and melon vines, damp-off of seedlings, and root rot on cabbage plants and is helpless to do much for it. Until recently the average gardener could do very little to avoid soilborne problems other than grow disease-resistant varieties.

Herbal Vinegars

What tastes good, has only two calories per tablespoon and is easy to prepare? Herbal vinegars offer all this and more. They add flavor to salads, marinades, sauces and also make thoughtful gifts.

Start by picking (or buying) your herbs and washing in cool water. Lay on paper towels and allow to air dry. The basic recipe calls for 1 cup fresh herbs to 2 cups vinegar. Use either red or white wine, cider or rice vinegar. Place the dry herbs in a wide-mouth jar, bruise with a spoon and add the vinegar. Cap, shake and store in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks. (You can hasten the processing time by heating the vinegar to just below the boiling point before adding to the herbs.) Check the taste after processing by placing a teaspoon of vinegar on some French bread. If you like the taste, you are ready to strain the vinegar. Use a funnel and a coffee filter and pour through several times until the vinegar is clear. That’s all you have to do . Pour into a sterilized bottle, add a few sprigs of herbs to decorate and you have just made a real taste treat. Here are some herbal combinations that work well together. Before the summer’s over, you’ll be inventing your own “designer vinegar’s”

Chives, dill and parsley

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Basil and thyme

Garlic, Chives and lemon grass

Garlic, Lemon grass and Lemon thyme

Dill and chives

Salad burnet, garlic and parsley


There may be a few out there not familiar with this term. Among gardeners, passalongs are gifts of plants given between friends, neighbors, and family sharings; generation-to-generation. Back in my memories there was the gift of a small Japanese maple from my father’s family home. It grows tall in my mother’s yard still and its seedlings now live on in my lot. These passalongs have many times gotten a new landowner involved with that outside space surrounding their home. Taking that freshly dug plant does demand a commitment to its survival. After all when the giver visits they may want to see how their gift has been cultivated, where you planted it, and whether you are enjoying it. That plant’s success certainly is homage to the attention you paid its first few months. Gardeners know plants are babies that if given proper early care usually grow into healthy adults. Each gardener must have at least one memory of a passalong either received or given to a garden admirer or new homeowner. Gardeners can get especially creative when the beds need thinning! My garden has had many passalongs run through it and on to some other garden.

Here are a few passalongs that came and stayed. Most do well enough that unless you want to make a lot of new beds expect every spring visitor to leave with a bag full!

Mints, thyme, lavender, poppies, lamb’s ears, oregano or marjoram, torchlily, daylilies, tansy, lilac, white ribbon grass or phalaris, forsythia, asters, mums, shastas, daffodils, Siberian and bearded iris, coreopsis, liriope, Japanese maple seedlings, vinca, ivy, euonymus, anemones, black-eyed susans, artemesias, yarrows, privet, quince, ornamental and edible chives, hostas, lily-of-the-valley, asiatic and rubrum lilies, ajuga, dogwood seedlings, lamiums, hydrangras

…and the list grows each year and the passalongs continue. There’s a legend that seems to require no thank yous; only the promise to continue to share.


When most people hear the word “Daylily” they think of the tall, orange-colored flowers with lush grass-like foliage that line the driveways and ditches along country roads. These people are not wrong in thinking this, it’s simply that their imagery is a little dated. The modern Daylily has made its way from the roadside to center stage in many gardens and its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds.

If you’ve ever seen a Daylily garden at peak bloom, you no doubt can understand why Daylilies are one of America’s most popular perennials. The beauty, grace, and sheer awesomeness of this flower is absolutely breathtaking. The variety one can find a hybrid Daylilies is unsurpassable. From round, ruffled blossoms to graceful, narrow-petaled, spidery forms, from tall plant habit to short, and from large-flowered to very small, this remarkable plant comes in every color (except true blue and true black) and a variety of color patterns. The newer hybrids are even available with intricate, picoteed edges that defy description.

Nicknames the “Perfect Per Perennial,” Daylilies are virtually carefree. Their toughness belies their exquisite splendor. Daylilies will grow to please in almost any type of soil. Given a sunny spot in the garden, they will put on quite a show, and with a little water and a touch (not too much) of fertilizer, they will strut their stuff like no other flower.

Daylily bloom season begins in late May in this area and with late-blooming varieties and re-bloomers, the season can last up until front. Although each blossom lasts only a day, flowerscapes can have anywhere between 20-60 buds. Most Daylilies have one bloom cycle per season, but many can have up to two to four bloom cycles, and a few like STELLA DE ORA and HAPPY RETURNS, continually bloom all season long.

No matter what the landscape, Daylilies make a wonderful addition to any garden. They’re not just for the roadside any more.