NewjerseyTea wrote:I have a question about columbine though. Mine is regularly attacked by leaf miner and I cut it back after it forms seed heads for a new flush of leaves. Do you have the same problem?
NjTea, I DO have the same problem, except that I didn't this year. I've been trying to figure out WHY, because if I knew why, I could hopefully repeat the experience. But I can't say for sure what happened.
Two significant events come to mind:
(1) We let almost all the back yard lawn grow this spring until all the grass were flowering (I wanted to ID them and this was the only way I knew how). I actually loved the meadow-like effect and was just mowing paths. The grass flowers were COVERED with many varieties of tiny wasps that I usually ID as benficial insects. (We got a notice from the township -- a neighbor, and we think we know who, complained
-- that we were in violation of some code -- "grass/weeds to be maintained less than 6" within 200' of residence"
-- and we had to mow it all down
Now it's summer, and I'm getting a perverse pleasure out of having grown a "12'x8' sunflower house - turned into CORN house - because most of the sunflowers failed" and a 16' fence row of CORN -- most of which have grown to 7~8 FEET TALL, waving in the breeze OVER our 5' fence at the said neighbor across the street. Corn is a kind of GRASS you know.
(2) A pair of Cardinals made a nest in the Coral honeysuckle, growing in the same Hummingbird Garden as the columbines. I tiptoed around the garden and didn't weed the bed in the spring as I usually do, so that the Peppermint and Cilantro escaped control, took advantage, and grew ALL OVER the Hummer Garden
The Columbines were undeterred by this and grew through them, and when I finally got around to thinning them out and freeing up the Columbines (and the Wild Strawberries) I found out that the leaves were hardly affected by the leaf miners this year.
BTW I can't think of any evergreens for that spot either. How tall can it grow? You have Ilex glabra, you say... maybe Christmas Fern? Too sunny?