Monday, July 13, 2009

A Major Cut!


For years now I have had wood fern planted behind the pond. It has always been really pretty, but it has spread so much, it was making it harder for us to get to the submersible pump in the pond. We just dealt with this problem until two weeks ago.

I thought the fern looked really bad and decided it was the heat and maybe lack of water. But when I looked closer, I saw these black larvae all over the leaves. Can you see it, right in the middle of the picture.
We started finding these fuzzy black caterpillars everywhere By doing a little research on the Internet I think I have identified these as the caterpillar for a Leopard Moth. (I could be wrong, but the caterpillars did have the red bands between the bristles.)
I love to feed everything, but the caterpillars had just about eaten the ferns up, and since the ferns were causing a real problem with us getting to the pump, I decided to cut them all the way back to the ground.
Of course, they are not gone,they just received a major cut, but we are thinking we may dig them up this fall and do something else in this little raised bed. I have some ferns along the fence that I see are also being eaten, but I will leave them for the caterpillars to enjoy. The fern actually hid part of this tiny backyard and although I miss the airy foliage, I have enjoyed opening up the yard a bit. I don't know what options to consider in this bed. It does get some sun as you can see, but only for a few hours. Plus, I don't want to add something that will again create a problem for hubby who is the one that usually cleans the pump in the pond. I think it would be pretty if the ground ivy that grows around the pond took over in this bed-and, I have always wanted an old wash tub (you know the kind on a stand); that might look good nestled in the corner of the house. Then again, we might just let the fern grow back and try to contain it. For now, we will just leave it. It's way too hot to plant anything new, and way too hot to worry about!

14 comments:

Susie said...

Boy that did open up the yard a bit. Too bad the ferns were being eaten up but now you have some new possibilities.

You are so right about planting thing right now. It's just way too hot.

JenningsJunk said...

You are working way to hard on vacation!!! That sure is a lovely area that has opened up.

Meadowview Thymes said...

I kind of like the look Susie, but I don't want to leave that area bare..Something will come to me sooner or later. Hopefully not until it cools off though! :)

It's what I do JJ! :)
I think you are right--there are great possiblities for this area.
(how is work? tell everyone hi for me!)

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Have you ever used Asian jasmine for ground cover? I never have, but I see it all through my neighborhood in varying amounts of sun and shade, so I'm thinking of incorporating some into my shady front. I also love ajuga, but it's pretty low growing, and I like some height.

misterreereeder said...

To each his (or her) own. Taking a little trip and working on your yard. Both can be fun. Of course when it cools off it will be a whole lot more fun.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Nola, I have not used jasmine, but like you, lots of my neighbors have it. I love ajuga in the spring, and have a few plants, but it does not do very well for me for some reason. It maybe lack of water, I'm not sure. I love ground covers--and have some tiny creeper and thyme that does really well. So many things I would like to have..so little room for them! :)

Hi mr! You said it! This heat is definetly putting a damper on my gardening days!

tina said...

That's a bummer! I hope the caterpillars move on elsewhere soon and your ferns recover. They are so pretty.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Think the caterpillars have moved on to other plants Tina. I hate to take their food source away, and would not do that if it were monarch butterflies, but the stinkers were wiping out the entire group of ferns. Maybe it was a sign for us to reconsider what we have there.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Those are some hungry caterpillars indeed! Poor ferns. Whatever you decide to do in that area, I agree you should wait for cooler weather!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Cindy, I can hardly stand to work out in this heat so this bed will have to wait. It is so hard to stay in though--I love to be outdoors digging in the dirt!

Brenda said...

No kidding it's hot! Imagine the steel boot up to your knee with pads and socks, etc! I'm hoping it comes off next week. I vote for the old fashioned tub. It would look lovely with some asparagus or the more sun loving Boston ferns (I have one of them) spilling out of it. And then the wild fern could grow around it. You know it will come back with a vengeance!
Brenda

Meadowview Thymes said...

Brenda, I broke a bone in my foot several summers ago, and had to live with a boot in the heat. Ugh--what memories of that! I had to sleep in it too. Double ugh!
I like your idea--and yes, I know the wood fern will come back. We are thinking we might try and dig as much up as we can. I really want an old wash tub--always have. This may be my excuse to buy one if I can find it. :)

perennialgardener said...

Wow they really were occupying a nice chuck of space! Maybe this fall you'll come up with a good plan for the area. :)

Meadowview Thymes said...

I hope I come up with something Racquel. I like Brenda's idea about the old wash tub with a few fern growing under it. But...it's hard to keep the fern contained and just have a few! :)