Home of Stella's Gardens

We are now living full time in Northeast Iowa, and working on the new gardens. It will keep us busy for quite a while...

As an avid gardener since I was about 7 years old, that gives me over 45 years of experience gardening in this part of the world. And every year teaches me a bit more.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Heavens to Murgatroyd, This is a Summer like I remember from my childhood. With the added attraction of Japanese beetles, which are numerous this year once again in Eastern Iowa. Not as many as a few years ago - when I had sooo many I went ahead and posted a couple of traps - it was like Chicago Ohare airport watching them come in ever 20-30 seconds. Now I just hand pick them off the choice plants - the rose, the meadowsweet. A cup of water with a teaspoon of Murphy's Wood Oil Soap. Then some critter comes and dumps that out and eats all the beetles every night. I imagine a wonderfully "regular" 'coon or possum..... So this was a working 4th holiday - a little yard work early in the week, work in the garage to build new shelves in the AM and peeling *really* gnarly wallpaper inside in the afternoon.....
BUT week before last some awesome alliums and tomatoes up north
Garlic gathered (part 2)
Tiger lilies here at home
And a first time visitor (for us) - a praying mantis - s/he appeared to be young and probably a nymph, since there were no wings...I haven't seen her/him since when we got the pix, so I don't know if someone made a snack of it (maybe 2" long) but we were thrilled to have such a bug in our yard....


  1. I love the tiger lilly - and the preying mantis! I've been wanting to grow garlic - do you find the taste is different than store bought?

    1. Just like a lot of things - there are so many varieties of garlic 'twill make your head spin. And they do taste different, just like potatoes there are different types (rocambole and hardnecks, softnecks, elephant; some are hot little numbers and some are milder and sweeter...) I've ordered from a couple of places but usually end up at the Garlic Store online (they are in Colorado.) There are nice little sampler packs, and I also get elephant because it is lovely and mild for items that don't cook long. Garlic goes in almost everything we cook (that isn't sweet!) I usually have way more than I can use in a year....