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Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Green Dive-bombers of summer, more likely

The LA Times Home section has an interesting article on Cotinis mutabilis or what we call the June BUg or June Beetle here in Southern California.

This time of year, as fruit ripens in commercial orchards and many backyards, these huge, bumbling beetles take flight. While they don't bite or sting, their sheer size is enough to freak you out as they bang into fences, tress and anything else that gets in their way.

We get a few each year, mainly from our compost pile, but when we had an old apricot tree, it was thick with these beetles. The Squirrels had a nasty habit of nibbling on the fruit and then abandoning it. The smell of sweet juice attracted the beetles in droves.

The article contains lots of information and 3 references for even more.

Their summer flights of fancy By Emily Green, Times Staff Writer

June beetles spring to life, their bright green armor shining as they steer a shaky course. They're not the prettiest of beetles, but you can't help but admire such short-lived determination.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Iris Cross-pollination?

Robyn, from Vero Beach Florida writes...
"If you'd be so kind, my mother is wondering if she should separate her blue and white iris' so they don't cross pollinate and all turn white. It seemed like it would be a common enough question, but I don't find the answer anywhere online."

I am far from an expert on stuff like this, so I figured I would open up the question to you, the readers of A Gardener's Notebook.

Does anyone have more information on this topic? My Google searches turned up lots of information on purposefully crossing irises, so this leads me to believe that they don't cross-pollinate too readily on their own.

Add your comments below!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dried flowers from the garden

My wife and son love to press and dry flowers from the garden, although we rarely bring blooms inside the house, otherwise. I have dried some herbs from the garden before, but hadn't really thought of creating dried flower arrangements from my own garden. Maybe this article will spur me to dry to preserve some of the years blooms.

From the Garden - Drying Your Flowers

For some people, it's very hard to cut flowers from the garden to enjoy elsewhere. But if you have prolific blooms and your vases are running over, remember it's not too soon to start drying flowers to enjoy when your...

(Via Gardening.)