I must admit to feeling a bit sheepish after getting this award. Unlike the other competitors who worked hard to grow the perfect tomato or who demonstrated superior form in deadheading or hoeing, I cannot take any credit for this entry. I did not plant him--I may feel rather old some mornings, but I'm not that old. Nor does he ask for any special care; I merely see that his home is free of clutter and add a few bright posies at his feet during the summer. So all the credit goes to him.
Thanks to Idahogardener for sponsoring the Gardening Olympiad. She received many favorable comments and requests to make this a yearly event; if she does, I suspect there will be many more entries next year with the increased publicity. Sadly, Mighty Oak has no plans to compete again; one medal is enough reward, he says. He plans to retire to a farm (no, he's not going to Disneyland!) where he will spend his days peacefully watching the clouds go by and providing shelter for his flocks of birds.
When I finally came down from the clouds and returned to reality after cyber-hopping to Idaho and to the UK to visit VP (more on that below), I discovered that many small creatures have begun to invade my garden--most of them good, but a few I'm not so sure about. The weather here the last week and a half has been beautiful, with comfortable temperatures and no rain. But one morning last week I woke to a heavy fog and spotted this spiderweb hanging from the redbud tree.
After seeing the spiderweb, I thought it would be a good idea to look beyond and underneath the blooms to see what else had come to spend some time in my garden. This green bug was quite attractive, but I wasn't sure whether he was friend or foe.
Now this guy I can identify...