Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ladybugs to the Rescue!

Day 111
The Daily DuBrule

I gave a garden tour to a great group on Tuesday, the Orange Garden Club. There really wasn't a theme so I decided wander the gardens with this enthusiastic crowd and see what came up. I was talking about the organic focus at Natureworks and how we scout for insects when lo and behold, I saw a Heliopsis completely covered with red aphids. I picked a stem (no worries, I considered it pinching) to show everyone how amazingly cool these red aphids were. EEWWW. No one could believe my attitude. Aphids are BAD. Actually, I don't think I have ever seen a Heliopsis in a rainy spring that didn't have these particular red aphids. It's normal. 

Next thing I knew, I saw one of the participants holding a ladybug in her fingers. You know the game kids play where the bug crawls from finger to finger. How perfect! "See that ladybug? It is here to eat the aphids" I told everyone. I couldn't have timed it any better.

We then proceeded to admire the next section of the garden. "Look!" Here's a ladybug on this Spirea abliflora. Wait! There's aphids on the new growth. Hey wait a minute. Look at ALL THOSE LADYBUGS." Sure as shootin' I saw ladybugs all over the plant. They were hard at work, doing their job in our organic ecosystem in magic little acre. It was like I hired them to show up and demonstrate organic principles for this group. I couldn't have asked for a better lesson. Of course if I had panicked about all the aphids and sprayed an organic spray I would have killed the ladybugs too. It's usually best to look a little closer at the amazing world in front of your eyes and see if nature has a solution before you feel the need to step in.

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