Mosquitos vs. Beetles
It’s unscientific poll time: would you rather have mosquitoes or Japanese beetles? I ask because we are plagued with both — the plant eaters in New York, the blood suckers in Maine. Bill hates the mosquitoes so much he votes for the beetles, but I think he’s nuts. Mosquitoes’ only harm the garden by keeping you away from it. Japanese beetles, on the other hand, are out there chewing 24/7 … and humping away at the same time, a formidable combo.
Fortunately, they don’t like rhododendrons, so our late pink one is glorious…assuming you don’t mind disorder. I never seem to get around to pruning, so it has become a vast, undulating lump, pulsing with bumblebees.
Lilies are this week’s showstopper flowers, especially the yellow trumpets, but the brugmansias are coming on strong, well festooned with giant white trumpets that cede nothing to jasmine in the night fragrance department.
If you peer closely at the brugmansia leaves, you can see that cucumber beetles will eat what Japanese beetles won’t. But years of hauling these tender beauties in and out of the cellar have given us big, bushy plants that hit 6 or 7 feet by September, and they can take a fair amount of damage without looking too shabby.