And we’re back.

So, things have been a bit crazy and I’ve been neglecting you guys. Too many things on my plate with the house closing. Anyways, we’re here.

Anyone know what this tree is?

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“Fruit”:

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Garden Friend

Garden Friend

I was pulling the dead leaves out of a rose bush that my wife “rescued” from Lowes, when one of the leaves ran up my arm.

Its a Praying Mantis Nymph. I’ve never seen one quite this small, he was probably 3/4″ long, and quite the jumper.

They’re fantastic bugs to have around the garden, as they eat all sorts of pests, and won’t harm your plants.

Full size adults will even occasionally eat mice (and the odd hummingbird, small snake, scorpion, etc)

Back into the garden it went.

Does this make me a crazy person?

I had a couple of hours, so I popped open Sketchup and started mapping out the property. I’ll eventually use this to plot out where I’m going to plant the fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Probably use it to plan out any further landscaping work. I eventually want to have a Koi pond somewhere, a hutch/coop for the Runner Ducks that Abbey wants to get, and possibly a small barn of some sort for some sheep or goats.

Does this make me a crazy person?

House

Bad Rich

I have a serious problem. I literally cannot handle the clearance/distressed plant racks at Lowes.

Went out for some ant traps, and came home with this guy. He’s a Wonderful pomegranate, and I know the “pomegranate people” aren’t too fond of the cultivar, but $14.99 was too good to pass up. Part of me thinks its just the typical “oh, that’s the common cultivar…meh” … The rest of me knows I can graft something else on if I don’t like it.

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A cool plant, and a new-to-you pest.

Last year I made a big seed order from Baker Creek Seed company, and they always seem to throw in something free. What I got was a package of Ground Cherry seeds. They’re a small plant in the Solanacaea/Nightshade family (Peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes, etc).

Superficially they resemble a small tomatillo, but taste-wise they’re a sweet pineapple-tomato-citrusy taste. I’m not a big fan of cherry tomatoes, but I like these. The plant doesn’t grow all that fast, but its always loaded with berries. The berries are ripe when they fall off the plant.(ignore the leaf burns)

Ground Cherry

It also seems to grow fantastically in my hydro-gutter system. Which is great.

While I was doing my daily check, I found this guy:

cavate Tortoise beetle

I had never seen one of these before, so I did some googling… guessed “turtle beetle.” Turns out I was pretty close, he’s a Cavate Tortoise Beetle. The tortoise beetles apparently feed on plants in the nightshade family.

This guy is kind of the ugly duckling in the family. Check out these:

Golden Tortoise Beetle