Monday, February 11, 2008

Finds in the Garden

I was looking around the garden and found some more galls. Isn't this an interesting gall? It is on a cedar tree. I do wish I knew more about these things. They are very interesting to me.
Do you remember the galls I told you I saw on the Forsythia?? They are quite different than the above gall. They are very lumpy and coarse looking. While the gall above is bumpy but more smooth in texture. The colors vary great too. As you can see the forsythia is budding but no blooms yet. Marvin who seems to know lots about nature and is so kind to impart his knowledge told me that the one on the Forsythia is a Phomopsis Gall. It is a type of fungus. He also told me about this site where you can read about this gall and many other garden maladies. I found here that the creepy aggressive awful grass I wrote about here is a Wild Bermuda Grass. What this site says about it is terrifying to me. It sounds like it will indeed be a fight to keep it out of my flower beds. Sigh~~
There is some weird fungus growing on the trunk of the huge Autumn Olive that we cut down. I was checking on the log planter to see if the little starts I planted in it appeared to be surviving the winter and spotted this fungus. It is a pretty color and texture. Almost velvety yet at the base it looks jelly-like.
I felt very fortunate to have found the bagworms haning on the cedars. I only found three of them. I wonder if there will be more?? You usually don't just find three. We haven't had any bagworms for some time. I hope it is the last of them. I picked them off and threw them away.
I just couldn't resist showing you this fuzzy wuzzy bud of the Magnolia inour garden. The tree is full of them. I hope they don't all get burned off with this cold.
There are still a few of the seedheads of the Clematis 'Ramona'. Iwonder if a person could winter sow them? Has anyone tried this before? We are battening down the hatches today. We are under a Winter Storm Watch. We could get as much as 2-6 inches of snow, rain, sleet etc beginning this afternoon. The Weather Men are always making these announcements and often they aren't near as severe as forcast. So we will just have to wait to see what happens this afternoon.


  1. Good grief, that sounds like a lot of nasty weather coming your way! No sign of spring yet, eh? But lots of signs of other stuff. Bagworms, yuck! Good thing there were only 3 and you got rid of them pronto.

    Here we have gall apples that are created by a kind of mosquito.

  2. Thanks for the info about the Forsythia gall. I'll check that out, although it's too cold to go out to see if mine have any galls right now.

  3. Some of these are really gross! I was thinking of entertaining readers with a tick photo last year, but your plant and bug ones are equally yucky. :<) I had never heard the word, gall.

  4. We're under that same winter storm watch, Lisa. It's supposed to arrive later tonight.

    Our little cedar tree gets cedar rust and it looks like little balls of burnt orange. That can affect our apple trees, too, and don't you know, the cedar is just west of the two apple trees. We could move the cedar and I think we'll do just that in the spring.

    We had our own bag worm experience this fall with our blue spruce. We found hundreds though. We'll see how things look in the spring. I sure hope we don't lose that tree!

  5. Great photos of yucky stuff. I am most yucked out by the bagworms, such a destructive pest to conifers. They hide so well within the branches where it is brown like them. We had an attack on one of the arborvitae one year, it was literally covered. We hand picked them off and threw them in the trash can, only to find that the worms had left those coccoons and were lining the can, talk about a terror moment. I sprayed the inside of the can with raid and from then on we put the bagworms in baggies sealed tightly. So watch where you throw them! The arborvitae survived and grew back, I hit it with the hose spray hard every other day, no insecticide and it worked, thank goodness. But we are ever vigilant.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  6. We are batting down the hatches as well, rounding up the critters...

    I like all the weird fungi....looking that would make a great science project for the kids. LOL!

  7. Yolanda there is a trifle of spring showing up but not much. Sorry about the yuck but even this I find interesting. I just don't want the yuck to take over. :/

    MrMcD, You won't like what you read about this. They didn't indicate what causes this. I wonder??

    Nan, Gall is a general term for an abnormal growth on a plant. I find they are usually caused by insects or fungus. I am sure there are many other causes of galls.

    Kylee, I hope this gall won't get on our apple tree. It is old now and has a dead branch or two. I always think it might die. I hope not tho becasue it is so beautiful in the spring, the butterflies and bees love its fruit, and I appreciat the shade.

    I bet your blue spruce will snap back. Several years ago our big beautiful blue spruce got bag worms in the top and it ate the top out before we knew it. We pulled and kept after them until they were disposed of and our tree regrew its needles in thanks. It would take an overwhelming horde of bagworms to kill a tree.

    Frances, when I was younger and found my first infestation of bag worms I did the same thing. I had those creepy worms going every which way in the kitchen trash. Ha.. a lesson well learned. I haven't had an infestation inside since.

  8. Hey Sherry, those galls would be a good thing for your children to study. They can learn all about certain insects. Have you looked around your garden for some?

  9. My In-laws live in Arcadia, IN, so I know you're had more than your share of bad weather. Hope they've over estimated your predictions! I loved your gall pictures. The ones we have in Texas Live Oaks are perfectly round - totally smooth - so it was fun to see your lumpy-bumpy ones. Do you have any smooth ones? Wish I had a picture, but I never thought to take one! Guess I will, now!

  10. Hi Diana, Your Inlaws live about a 3 hr drive NE of where I live. They have had a lot more snow than we have. I doubt if we get as much as they predict. I will just have to wait and see.

    I don't remember seeing any smooth galls here. I will post one if I see it. I will look forward to seeing yours when you get a picture of one.

  11. Very interesting irregularities you've captured, Lisa. Isn't nature full of wonder and unexpected surprises on every level? I hope the bagworms don't cause too much damage. It is a heartbreak when little critters can do such damage as to make us lose one of our precious trees.
    Stay safe & warm during yet another winter storm!

    You really must think about taking your next Florida trip during the winter. :-)

  12. That gall is very interesting looking! Always love finding the many great things around your garden! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Lisa, You always find the most interesting thing to write about and your accompanying pictures are so good! Congrats on your award!

  14. Lisa, did you see the picture of the bagworm I had on my blog in the fall? Oh, they are such ugly creatures! I had never seen the worm before and was fascinated with it. Hopefully I got them all picked off here, but my neighbor's tree was covered.

  15. The Magnolia bud was good to see - I hope the storm turns out to be mild.

    I am interested in the gall shapes. I don't know that I've ever seen a bagworm. They sound completely unappealing.

    Won't it be great when spring truly comes and snow becomes a distant memory? If Luna is like Lytton, she probably prefers the snow to summer heat.

  16. Can you say Gymnosporangium?

    I think the gall on your cedar may be one of the cedar-apple rusts Kylee mentioned. It is a fungus and the gall is its winter survival mechanism.


  17. Meems I would love to be in FL right now. ;) We have family that lives in St Petersburg area.

    You are welcome Monarch.

    Beckie, Thanks.

    Robin, I missed your bag worm. I will go back in time and see if I can see it. Gruesome looking things when they are out of the bag.

    Kate, I will be ready for some warmer weather and being able to be comfortably outside. Luna like Lytton likes the snow and cold. Often during summer she is inside looking out at me and during winter I am inside looking out at her.

    Our storm was merely a hiccup. Some of that wintery mix they talk about barely covered the grass. It will be gone as soon as it warms up.

    Well Marvin, I don't think I can say Gyno, ahhh Gynosps, errr Gynospor*#@+## Heck I can't even spell it. I do get the idea tho. I guess I will cut that out and get rid of it before it gets on our sweet apple tree.

    Everything in our garden was under such stress from lack of water this past summer I guess this allowed or encouraged such things to develop in our garden. I have not seen these things before. Thank you so much for your ID and link.

  18. Hi Lisa,
    It's award week and I've got another award for you over at my blog!

  19. Galls bumpy and nasty looking..jelly like fungas and bag worm...all things I have never seen! Now that you have educated me perhaps I won't be shocked should I come across them personally! Loved looking at your colorful garden in post below!
    2-6 inches of snow..well I know all about that today we are expecting another 15cm. Staying warm NG

  20. These are amazing photos.
    I tagged you to write 5 things about yourself. See my blog for details :)

  21. Lisa:

    Cut those cedar-apple galls off the tree before wet, warm weather. That is when they blossom and spread and they are like a sea anemone! Beautiful but not good for the apple trees! Nice post! Love your bugs and balls!

  22. Hi Lisa
    Thanks for visiting my blog....have just been reading about the galls....fascinating.........Lovely photographs to.
    In the summer I get Robins Pin Cushion on my wild roses. They are red and look like a pin cushion, hence the name. I leave them on the plant, they do little damage, and actually look quite pretty.

    I encourage hedgehogs into my garden with lots of hiding place for them. I also feed them if there is a drought or they wake during their winter hibernation. You are right they are going down in numbers here, loss of habitat and fatalities on the roads contributes a lot towards their decline.
    Will visit again.

  23. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for all the links and information. I will bookmark the sites in case I find any galls this coming growing season. I do think the galls are interesting. Years ago before an ice storm took down my apple tree I would get cedar rust on the apple tree. Always knew the cedars were too close but there wasn't anything I could do about it.
    I would think wsing would be just fine. Anything that "self sows" does work. You can always ask on the Winter Sowing forum.
    Hope your ice and snow is not too terrible. Be careful. No falling.

  24. RuthieJ, Thank you so much Lady.

    Oh Teri, I don't know if I can think of 5 things....I will have to think about this.

    Thank you for the advice Layanee. I will cut them off as soon as the ice melts.

    Cheryl, I have never heard of Robins Pin Cushion. Maybe you can take a picture of it this summer. It sounds interesting.

    Q, I didn't even know there was a winter sowing forum. Thanks for telling me about it.

  25. We escaped the winter store, they say it as to dry here. We only got about 2 inches. Hope you are as lucky.

  26. I am glad you named these funny "forms" on tree and bushes. I've seen that there is also the forsythia gall in my garden...and probably some more on other plants. Now I'm going to check it out... Thank you for this interesting post!

  27. Heh... I was going to give you the same link Marvin did. But since you're already ahead of me, I'll just say how pretty those magnolia buds look. I'd not realized how cute and fuzzy they are!


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