Is That A White Phlox Blooming in Summer?

The other day I was driving over to an Amish woman’s vegetable stand when I spotted this group of plants that looked like a small version of phlox blooming in white at the edge of a corn field.

How could a phlox be blooming in the heat of summer? I thought phlox was strictly a spring-blooming plant, so of course I had to stop to look a bit closer and find out what these pretty white flowers were.

Bouncing Bet flowering next to a country road near a cornfield.
Bouncing Bet flowering next to a country road near a cornfield.

(Photos taken 10 July 2014.)

Bouncing Bet has been introduced in North America and is native to Europe. It can be found across the United States in waste places and in great masses along roads and at the edges of fields.

The plants stood about a foot tall and may continue growing taller and still

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Japanese Beetles Get the Soap

Group of Japanese beetles eating Rubus leaves
Image via Wikipedia

As of yesterday there are 10 fewer Japanese Beetles in this world. I really don’t like killing living things, but these little buggers just had to go. How dare they munch on the cherry leaves, flowers of Echinacea and basil leaves that we want for our own?

How did they meet their end? Soapy water did the trick!

No spraying of pesticides needed.

Just take a small bucket, add a drop of liquid soap and a little water. Tap the buggers into the drink and they won’t be contributing to the next generation of beetle pests.

A plastic milk or water jug makes a great soapy water bug catcher. Cut away the top and front half of the jug leaving the handle intact and about half of the jug that will contain the soapy water.

Every day for the next couple weeks we’ll walk around the gardens removing these beetle pests. We don’t worry that we’ll decimate the beetle population or make them go extinct, because we see plenty of the beetles on tree leaves in the adjacent forest. However, we may have fewer beetles laying their eggs in the lawn that would make up next year’s grubs.

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