Ever-Blooming Despite Life’s Prickles: The Japanese Beetle

A Japanese Beetle enjoys the petals of a rose.

The Lesson of The Japanese Beetle

I usually putter amongst my small but flourishing rose garden monitoring and pruning away the dried branches, weeds, and spent blossoms. One particular summer though, my attention focused elsewhere as I failed to keep a careful watch over my beloved buds. In my goings to and fro, I noticed one or two Japanese Beetles enjoying the fruits of my labor as they nestled on my bud’s petals and her leaves. Unfortunately, I was too consumed in my own world to pay attention to the destruction right beneath my nose! Over time, my rose bushes were devastated and apparently well known by the JB community as the all you can eat smorgasbord. Consequently, I realized that I needed to regularly monitor the activities lurking in my garden if I was going to ward off such damaging predators in the future. In fact, to do so, I filled my little Tupperware container with soapy water and went hunting! Time to enforce my garden’s much needed boundaries! Beetle-hunting is quite easy actually and surprisingly fun. All you have to do is look closely at your rose buds, find your enemy lurking underneath, then tap the branch and catch them as they land in the soapy water. Once you’ve trapped these pesky pests, you’ll experience a strange sense of relief as you watch the enemy drown. Clearly, my burgeoning buds must be examined should I hope to rescue them from the evil anxious to devour them. Interestingly enough, though one bush may be purified, the nightmare could still show up yet again in another unsuspecting bush.

​As I set out to continuously conquer such small but damaging insects, I thought how similar sin is in our own lives. Often sin starts off quite small and unnoticeable as we go about our busy lives. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it surfaces enough to nearly ruin our lives and once it’s done so, it proceeds to affect those around us also.

“Let us look closely at our ways and examine them and then return to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40.

​The Japanese Beetle teaches me to daily and carefully examine the garden of my heart so as to seek out and destroy any pests hiding within my budding soul for it is only then those around me will smell the sweet aroma of my lifestyle as my form of a daily sacrifice (Numbers 28).

Roses Showing Signs of Illness

Rose_Fig04While I’m still recovering from the flu, which now has turned into bronchitis, I reflect on how our beloved roses sometimes show signs of illness as well. With spring just around the corner, perhaps these resourceful links can help you diagnose signs of sickness in your roses early on. My original book, Ever-Blooming: Despite Life’s Prickles provides tips to combat diseases like powdery mildew, black spot, and more. Also, if your roses suffer from pest issues this gardening season, be sure to get a copy of my second book, Ever-Blooming Roses: During the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly.

In the meantime, here are a few articles written by other sources to help solve some diseased rose riddles.

Rose Health Problems

Organic Treatment For Sick Roses

May we experience a bountiful and beautiful ever-blooming gardening season!

Florentina Transplated

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Florentina, a climbing Kordes rose. (photo credit unknown)

Since moving to the beach earlier this year, I purchased and planted 2 potted roses to decorate my barren balcony. How hard it was for me to surrender my splendid rose garden back in Pennsylvania! Ironically, my $5 Walmart special rose, known as Miranda Lambert, a hybrid tea, has bloomed beautifully over and over again; yet, my $40 mail ordered climbing rose, known as Florentina, hasn’t bloomed once! Go figure!

After fussing over her and trying numerous tactics imploring her to produce a rose bud, I finally decided to seek permission from the HOA to transplant her to a garden bed here in my condominium community. Thankfully, the Board graciously agreed to accommodate my rose plea. On one warm day last week (it is reaching the 60’s and low 70’s here in Myrtle Beach), I relocated Florentina from her pot to a sunny garden bed. I read online that the more petals a rose has, the more light it will need to flourish.  Although the morning sunlight was sufficient for Miranda, Florentina, my climbing rose, evidently has higher standards. Get it.. climbing rose..higher standards? 😉20171124_124223[1]Florentina has numerous petals (more so than Miranda Lambert) so I am hopeful she was producing blind shoots (canes with no buds) due to inadequate sunlight on my balcony. In the few days since transitioning her to new soil, she has produced numerous fresh leaflets. In time, I hope to finally see her reach her full potential by producing blooms of scarlet red…

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Florentina should produce blooms of scarlet ruffles. (photo credit unknown)

In the meantime, I will enjoy the ongoing blooms Miranda Lambert continues to bless me with.

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Miranda Lambert, a hybrid tea rose, produces fragrant petals of pink.