Keeping Busy

“Keeping Busy”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Finally, we seem to be getting back into our normal summer pattern of afternoon showers every three or four days.  We had a big thunderstorm last Thursday, and unfortunately lost our electricity for fourteen hours.  Thank goodness it was from 6 at night to 8 in the morning.  I don’t think I could have taken the daytime heat.  We had another good shower today and received 1.07 inches of rain with more expected tomorrow.  The rain does bring cooler temperatures and much needed moisture to the plants, but it does stop any garden work.

About the only thing blooming right now is the cannas.  They just love the heat.  Tropical Sunrise is one of my favorites even though this is only the second summer it has been in our garden.


Canna Trop. Sunrise (redu)


Before the rain started, I discovered azalea caterpillars on the front azalea bushes.  Because of the Fourth of July holiday and a family get together on Sunday, I haven’t been able to do my daily walk around the garden.  This is when I am able to just check things out and catch problems like the caterpillars early.  Boy, these guys can chomp through azaleas in no time.  I usually don’t find any of these caterpillars until around the end of August, but they seem to be early this year.  I guess I need to check all the other azaleas that are planted in other areas even though I haven’t had any show up anywhere but on the front azaleas.  But, of course, there is always a first time.

It seems there is always something to keep a gardener busy.



  1. Janet said,

    July 7, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Those azalea caterpillars are a pain. Will have to keep an eye out.

    • Jan said,

      July 7, 2009 at 6:00 am

      Yes, Janet, they are a pain. I have never had so many that I can’t pick them off and destroy and not spray anything. I would hate to use any pesticides with all the birds, bees, and butterflies around.

  2. Randy said,

    July 7, 2009 at 5:42 am

    We are finally getting some much needed rain too. Like you we have a ton of garden chores that need to get done!–Randy

    • Jan said,

      July 7, 2009 at 6:03 am

      I am so glad you have started getting rain. I know you needed it just as we did. In fact, it just started raining which means I won’t be walking this morning with my neighbor. It looks like we either get too much or not enough, doesn’t it.

  3. July 7, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I’ve never heard of azalea catepilliars. Jeez they’ll eat anything I guess. The canna lily is gorgeous.

    • Jan said,

      July 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm

      Jackie, azalea caterpillars are big, red-headed caterpillars with white and black bodies. If not caught early, they can do some serious defoliation. I do love that canna – reminds me of a summer drink.

  4. Jake said,

    July 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I haven’t had problems with Caterpillars on my Azaela just my Ornamental Purple Sweet Potato and Castor Bean. Like the Canna, they are great plants.


    • Jan said,

      July 8, 2009 at 7:03 am

      Jake, so far the azalea caterpillars are the only ones that I have problems with. Luckily, my sweet potato vines are pest free. I hate it when they get those tiny holes.

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