Sunday, September 29, 2013
The Ficus is Fudged!
That's right - Fudged! As in royally! As you can see, the hedge has dropped most of its leaves due to white fly damage. By the time I noticed a problem, it was heavily infested. Then the leaves dropped in a matter of days. No exaggeration!
Not only is it unsightly, now we can see through to our neighbors yard. And what's worse, they can see into ours! No more strolling the garden in my nightie, I guess!
This shows part of the Giant White-Bird-of-Paradise that fell during the heavy rains we had earlier this week. Behind it is the ficus hedge on the other side of the yard that is still lush and healthy. Although it desperately needs trimming and shaping. Now, the smart thing would be to treat this hedge for white flies before they mosey on over and attack it. Unfortunately, it's not cheap. Research tells me it would cost several thousand dollars to treat a hedge this size (over 10 feet high and over 10 feet long), as it needs to be treated systematically and not topically. *sigh* Well, that isn't happening right now, so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it's affected as well. I don't even want to ponder the cost of removing these monstrosities and their heavy root systems. AAAAARRRRGH!
This is our yard from when we lived over on the Miami side of Florida. We had ficus hedges on both sides of this yard too, which you can see in the background of the photo. We didn't have any problems and they were quite lovely. But this was before 2007, which apparently is when this particular white fly arrived and started to cause damage in south Florida. What a tidy, little manicured lawn this was - I don't miss that gator infested lake too much. We often had one basking in the sun on our yard during the wintertime.
On a brighter note, the fall bird migration is in full swing!
We've had a new visitor to our yard recently. The Yellow Throated Warbler. He's so little and cute and sings a happy song! He flits around and is lots of fun to watch. He's one of the migrating birds and will hang around until spring.
Most often, we see the Yellow Rumped Warbler, also known as Butter Butt. He is cute and little and sings happily as well!
This shot shows Butter Butts butter a little bit better.
Soon, the Catbird should arrive. He's a regular during the winter and I love his cat-like mews.
And of course, the Holy Grail is when the beautiful Painted Buntings arrive. We didn't see them until January last winter, but I keep tabs at Corkscrew Swamp and when they start seeing them there, then I know they're in town and I'll put out the white millet in hopes of getting their attention a little sooner this year.
The Indigo Bunting is also a beauty and this year I'll try putting out some meal worms for them. They're more of an insect eater. They usually arrive around the time the Painted Buntings are here.