The life & trials of a Mock Orange.

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The Mock Orange is blooming. Sadly due to some mismanagement on my part I had lost a year of shaping the bush. Last year I had to do a large scale chop of some overgrown portions of the bush, which has lost us some blooms. Mock Orange flowers on old wood, so if your going to shape a bush like this regular maintenance is a must. As to still get maximum, and even blooms around the shrub.

Oh well, I will survive. Given a year or two the bush will fill out with blooms. The trunks will strengthen and the bulk of the shrub will stop flopping over once it fill with leaves.
One constant though is the love the aphids have for this sweet smelling shrub. Luckily the Ladybugs, the warriors of the garden are standing by ready and willing to take on this problem. Melanie over at Northern Gardeners Almanac has a timely post about these little suckers, and their garden counter balance that is definitely worth a read.

Now you’d think looking at these photo’s, that I have an aphid problem. The truth is a little more complex than that. There are ladybugs too, lots of ladybugs. For ever tip of a branch covered in aphids there are at least two Ladybug’s working the clean up crew.

The situation is under control. Now that I know there are aphid’s there in force, the Mock Orange just like the roses, get a daily hard spray from my hose. Between the spray downs and the Ladybug’s, no pesticides are required. Natural solutions to a natural problem.
A question I get often asked, is what if there are no Ladybug’s in the garden to combat the Aphid’s? Generally I would suggest that they are probably there, and just unseen. Where there are Aphids, there are Ladybugs. The two are kind of a package.

Except I know that not to be entirely true. In my gardens first year I had a huge Aphid problem. It was a new garden, across the street from a home based mechanic shop (and all the air pollutants that come with that). Whether that was the reason or not, I’m unsure. Either way there wasn’t the natural counter balance that there should have been.
I ended up buying hibernating Ladybugs from my local nursery and releasing them into the garden. There is some controversy on whether this is a good or bad thing to do. I let you decide that for yourself. For me however it was the solution to my problem. With that burst in the ladybug population my Aphid population got under control. Every year since I seem to have more and more ladybugs. I think they like it here :)

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12 comments on “The life & trials of a Mock Orange.

  1. MrBrownThumb on said:

    I don't seem to freak out over aphids because I know that soon the ladybugs will help take care of them. I do like to let some weeds grow so they can attack those instead of the real plants.

  2. meemsnyc on said:

    That's great that the ladybugs keep on those aphids. We have lots of aphids attacking our roses. It's annoying.

  3. Laura on said:

    @MrBrownThumb oh yes! They love my weeds! Luckily I have plenty for them to play with!@Meemsnyc they do quick damage top roses. I find a regular hard spray with the hose works wonders. Just don't hit an open bloom!

  4. Mike on said:

    Last year we planted some nursturium, and within a month the were COVERED with aphids. I scraped them off as best I could…but there were so many that it was a losing battle. I didn't even know you could buy ladybugs… not only is your blog entertaining, it's also educational!

  5. Northern Shade on said:

    Mockorange blooms are so pretty, and I love the scent. My regular mockorange has not been a reliable bloomer, but the Blizzard mockorange is loaded with flowers every year. It is a more compact shrub, so it keeps its shape well.

  6. Laura on said:

    @Mike I hope I am educational! Someones got to learn from my mistakes!@Northern Shade oh yes the compact one would have been a good idea. At the time though, my garden seemed so empty. It was one of my first garden purchases. Took years for it to bloom. Highly worth the wait!

  7. Those are some nice ladybug in action shots :-) We have tons of them in our yard and they overwinter in the attic as well. Kind of pesky creatures when they move inside.

  8. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) on said:

    I've been reading your blog for ages and just now noticed you're local! I should really grab a brain.We have a billion ladybugs here. It's really quite extraordinary. I've never noticed a particularly bad aphid problem but they must be eating something so I might just be blind.

  9. Laura on said:

    @Dan bug should never be inside. That upsets the balance, and simply freaks me out! Ladybugs in the attic, yikes!@Marilyn the new flag helps eh? It's amazing how small our world is. It's crazy who you bump into out there in the blogoshpere ;)

  10. LambAround on said:

    *Gasp!* Look at all those little dots! Go lady bugs, go!I just found your blog through SITS and have a feeling I'll be checking back often. It seems like it's always 1 problem after another with our yard. Did you know there's a fungus that will coat your trees on a windy day and cause all the leaves to wither and fall off? Quite a shock to see our cherry tree like that a few days ago, especially after we lost our Ash tree to borers last summer. We have a teenie tiny yard and can't possible spare any more trees :phttp://lambaround.blogspot.com

  11. Laura on said:

    @LambAround that's terrible! Your poor cherry tree! Have you been in to your local nursery to ask about solutions? Is there anything you can do, or is it a lost cause? Thanks for stopping in!

  12. Melanie on said:

    Laura- Thanks for the link :)

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