July 13, 2010

A Lovely Rose, with an Unwelcome Admirer

A few weeks ago I did a post on roses, but this rose wasn't yet in bloom. It is a small shrub, an old fashioned flower whose name I don't remember (you can tell I'm not a truly serious gardener because I don't keep records of my plants). I planted it in a protected spot, and now, after several years of growth, it makes a beautiful show later in the season than the rugosa roses. Its delicate petals are the palest of blush pinks, and have a deep sweet fragrance. Roses are a favorite of bees, which you can see buried in the pollen, seeming in ecstasy, in each of the above photos.

Unfortunately there's another insect that loves roses, the Japanese beetle. They chew the flowers to bits and make lace of leaves. It's a very beautiful insect, with its iridescent copper back and green head, but oh! is it destructive. It arrived here in northern Vermont a few years ago, as have other insects that didn't exist here before, such as lily beetles, rose chafers, and wood ticks (is this migration caused by climate change?). To control the beetles, I spend some time each day picking them from plants, dropping them into a container of soapy water. This has become a routine chore at this time of year; I might see a positive aspect of it in my close attention to the affected plants, and my daily stroll around the garden.


  1. Lovely rose...too bad the Japanese beetle likes it too. I use Captain Jack's Deadbug spray on the lily beetles...they are a nuisance! Says it is organic, from Agway.

  2. hi Maggie, thanks for the Captain Jack's tip; I'll use it next summer.