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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In A World Without Beetles


Once upon a time, when I was young and stupid, I decided to grow roses. Not knowing that they have about 5,379 pest problems. I envisioned a gorgeous rose garden, with healthy plants, fragrant flowers, and lush foliage. What I got was a scraggly-ass plant, with anemic-looking flowers and so many insect infestations that I needed an entomology degree to figure them all out.

I was living in Vermont at the time, so I was totally organic, pesticide-free and proud of it, baby. When the Japanese beetles arrived on my poor little rose plant, I researched the best way to eliminate them using non-toxic methods. The recommendation was to blast them off with a hose. Okay. First day I got a few beetles, and shot them with some water. Second day, maybe fifty? By the third day there was a Roman orgy of beetles on that plant. It was like a Bookstrand book gone bad...M/F/M/F/M/F/M/F/M. There were so many beetles humping each other, I lost sight of the plant. It was like a giant humping orgy of beetles in the shape of a rose vine. Needless to say, shooting the beetles with water wasn't that effective. It would have required using a volume of water equivalent to the Atlantic Ocean. So, I said screw it. I'll plant sunflowers instead.

Anyhow, I just got my White Flower Farm catalogue this week. And lo and behold, there are some totally kick-ass rose plants in there. They look so alluring....lush, healthy, vibrant, with nary a horny, humping beetle in sight. I might just have to revisit this whole rose gardening thing.

Here are my favorite plants from the catalogue....


Rosa Penelope! Woo hoo!



Rosa Princess Margareta....love this color!



Rosa Charles Darwin....I'm a sucker for yellow roses.






Dreaming of a pest-free garden,
Penelope

12 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I'm a sucker for yellow roses too! :)

Penelope said...

Hi Amber! I had yellow roses at my wedding. If roses weren't such a bitch to grow, I would def. have climbing yellow roses at my house. But....they're a bitch!

Brie said...

Oh! That Charles Darwin rose is gorgeous, and I'm not the biggest fan of roses.

Beetle orgy! You just outdid yourself in funniness, someone should write a Beetle shifter (werebeetle?) erotic novel!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

ROTFLMAO! For oh so many reasons! Roses do well out here but our only pests are aphids, so I dump boxes of ladybugs on the plants every spring.

A beetle gang bang, eh?

Penelope said...

Heeeeee...Brie! A beetle shifter story! Sooooo sexy, baby!

Penelope said...

Yes, Julia...aphids, beetles, scale, powdery mildew, spider mites, etc etc etc. Every damned pest on the face of the earth loves those prissy plants! Ack! I like "survival of the fittest" plants....that could survive a zombie apocalypse! Tough! Like rosa rugosa...those are really the only tough (wild) roses.

lemonverbenalady said...

You would like Graham Thomas as well, Penny. A beautiful yellow rose.

Penelope said...

Hi Nancy! I love the GT one, too. It's gorgeous. Do you have lots of roses in your garden? I might try a couple this year as an experiment.

Tasha B. said...

I think you definitely have to get the Penelope rose. :)

Penelope said...

Tasha....I know! I don't think I can pass that one up!

little alys said...

This is going to sound nuts, but have you tried growing garlic with the roses? They help with a lot of the bugs. Calendulas attack the aphids away. And growing some plants the birds love helps them pick of those pesky orgying bugs.

Ehehehe, roman orgy of beetles. Too funny.

I'm so happy to know you also love gardening. :D

Penelope said...

Alys....I have heard other folks say the same thing about garlic, and I want to grow it anyway, so maybe I'll try that. I have grown nasturtiums next to my veggies to attract aphids, and that works great.