06 June 2009

new friends

my soldier

i'm quite green thumbed. at age 12 i co-founded a plant company and went solo the year after. the biz - the rolling bay company - sold seeds, daffodil bulbs and bedding plants to rich ladies around the puget sound (seattle area).

my three terrace planters bring me much joy. it's been challenging to adapt to seoul's wacky climate, but still fun. i just bought 6 tomato plants earlier this week. but to my horror, my plants are always infested with some kind of disgusting insect. i don't know if this is what happens when there's a general lack of greenery in an area or a petty god, but my plants are super buggy.

the real tragedy has been my korean pine. the gorgeous young thang looked marvelous last year, before a lacewing infestation almost killt it. as it sickened, entire branches had to be removed and a curious blanket of tiny grains formed beneath its boughs... turns out it was millions and millions of tiny caterpillar craps.


these bastards are back again this year, but i've done my cruelest best to drown, crush, and cast them from my balcony. their screams bring me joy.


the other persistent foe are disgusting aphid colonies that ravage my chrysanthemums and, i'm so sorry to say, my pal pine. the little monsters park their teeth into the new growth and suck away at baby's life force. 

i'm loathe to use anything toxic to kill these pests, but the insecticidal soap i've been using is only mildly effective. consequently i have great appreciation for my two best friends (no, not whiskey and sim city. that was last year and didn't help). my friends are the chatty little finches who come by each morning to snack on the aphid's fat asses and a new sect of mormon ladybirds!

my chinese american ladybugs

i don't know their real names, so i've given them chinese american ones. while koko americans tend to be named after god things (aka esther, grace, jason), and japanese after... well, japanese names, the chinee seem to have a predilection for obscure, pompous british-ish names from the 19th century. why are they mormon? i don't know.

the second generation

the good news are these little yellow pods of ladybird eggs. i'm so happy for Amabel and her mystery inseminator. Audrey-Vivian also has a pod. but poor grand Vic may be barren. anyhow, i hope you'll join me in chronicling the lives of these pious chinee.


Jonith said...

my favorite kind of post. and i'm so jealous that you actually got your ladies to stay! i remember ordering a box of 500 of them in seattle for my balconies and even sprayed them with 7up at night to make their wings stick for the first couple of days. they still left.

hopefully they help. pretty pictures too"!

Jonith said...

other popular anglo-chinese names i can recall at my school in Taipei were Winston, Wesley, Waverly and Wilbert. them love them some dubs.

matt said...

this is helpful. although i think they pooped babies and abandoned ship. we'll see. xo