There’s a hole at one end of the Driveway Border that I had expected to be full of colorful flowers by now. But it was not to be.
A number of plants have been harmed by Four-Lined Plant Bugs (FLPB) this year, none more so than the Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginucum). Here’s how the Culver’s Root was looking a month ago.
And here’s all that’s left of it right now. Terrible picture, but the single dying stem is circled in blue. You get the idea.
By way of contrast, here’s how the Culver’s Root looked on a good year.
The FLPB is on the verge of wiping out the Culver’s Root, but it also has damaged some other plants, notably the Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). However, it does look like we will still get some bloom this year from the Anise Hyssop. In an earlier year, the FLPB killed my patch of Calamint (Calamintha nepetoides).
My general approach is to forego all pesticides, but these critters are trying my patience.
My Milkweeds are blooming very sparsely this year. The picture above is all I’ve gotten so far out of the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in the Sidewalk Border. The Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) in the Driveway Border is the same story (though there is a decent patch of bloom on the other side of the driveway).
Something causes most of the Milkweed flower buds to wither before they open. The Swamp Milkweed (A. incarnata) hasn’t begun to bloom yet but I’m keeping an eye on it.
Another disappointment: this spring I planted some Russian Hollyhock (Alcea rugosa) and Fig-Leaved Hollyhock (A. ficifolia). I thought they would bloom this year but it appears I was wrong. There are plenty of leaves, but no flower stalks. Seems I’ll have to wait for next year.
Are you missing any expected blooms in your garden this year?