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 🙂