What’s ailing my plants?!

Garden Rant is featuring What’s Wrong With My Plant by authors David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth in one of their blog posts and are offering the chance for people to submit some problems for a chance at getting a diagnosis for the problem.  I thought this would be a perfect chance to see if I could find out what this issue is I am having.

I first noticed the problem early last spring on one of my dogwood trees.  The tree died over the winter and one of the first things I noticed was this grayish-green fungus looking stuff on the branches.  I mentioned it to my neighbor and we began noticing it on several different woody ornamentals as well.  On some of these plants the branches that have the fungus are dead while on others the branches are still alive.  We’ve found it on azaleas, dogwood and mountain laurel while the lilac, forsythia, burning bush, butterfly bushes and mock orange seem untouched.  All have been in their location for over 15 years and there has not been much change in the environment.

 Below are some pictures of the problem (click on the pictures to enlarge).

I’d really love to know what the problem is and what can be done to solve it with as few chemicals as possible (would prefer none!). Thank you for any input and help anyone can contribute.

Getting a Jump on Yardwork

Burning Bush

We’ve been blessed with some early nice weather here in PA, so I’ve been taking advantage of it by pruning some shrubs that really needed it.  I really took a few of them back too.  Starting with the Burning Bush taking off a good 2-3 feet.

3 of the holly bushes

Then following with the 4 holly bushes.  Two of them just got a nice trim, but the other two gotten taken back pretty far.

1 holly bush along the back fence

The brush pile- it's taller than it looks

This left me with a nice brush pile taller than me which I will have to spend a few weekends  stacking and tying bundles of branches together for yard pick-up in the middle of April.  That’ll be more work than the pruning was.  At least it is done and I’ll only have to deal with my forsythia and lilacs when they are done blooming.

Catching up

Well, my last post was about how far behind I have gotten in my garden and as evidenced by my lack of posting, I am still behind.  I was able to do a bit more this summer- I weeded out my beds several times and planted some wildflower mix to help cover the bare spaces in my gardens and keep the weeds at bay.  Other than that not much has been done.  Life got in the way agin this year with taking my RHIT exam in February and studying for my CTR that I took this month.  Both were needed for my job, but I am happy to say I am done with tests!!! It is a little late for my garden this year, but I plan to spend some time over the winter coming up with some ideas for next year.  I’ll post some pictures of my sad-looking flower beds in a few days and would appreciate any input anyone can give.  I am ready to get my hands dirty again!

Think Spring

I have been missing in action for so long.  The company I was working for was sold to another and moved out of state leaving me without a job.  I was able to go back to work at a veterinary hospital I had worked at before and I decided that I would put my nose to the grindstone and finish up my Associate degree in Health Information Technology that I had started working on in 2005.   The work and school combo did not work well for my garden so it suffered greatly last year.  But I started a new job which I am loving  in June, graduated in August and am ready to begin a gain in the yard. At least I will be once I pass my RHIT certification exam in the next month or so. 

The dreaming has already begun with the arrival of garden catelogs in the mail over the past few weeks.   I’ve glanced through them, but having been spending time studying so will look through them again.  Turning on the computer and seeing my little weather bug thing say it is minus 8 (!) outside really has me wishing for Spring though.  At least I can dream.

Green Thumb Sunday

Green Thumb Sunday


We don’t have any trees in our yard that get the beautiful fall colors, but this burning bush really lets us know that fall is here! It seems to get redder the colder it gets.

Green Thumb Sunday

Green Thumb Sunday

Butterfly on Butterfly Bush

I have 2 butterfly bushes in my back yard, this purple one and a white one that was a volunteer. The Monarchs have been enjoying them a lot this summer. There is nothing like looking out the window and seeing 5 or 6 of them dancing around the back yard.

Green Thumb Sunday

Green Thumb Sunday


I got a chance to go out and take some pictures of what is currently in bloom-

butterfly weed Butterfly weed

hydrangea  My hydrangea finally bloomed because I didn’t cut it back.  It is loaded with blooms. 

joe pye weed  Joe Pye Weed not quite in bloom yet

croscomia  Croscomia- not a great picture.  This was from a cheap bag of summer blooming bulbs I bought at Big Lots.  It didn’t bloom the first year and I actually thought it was a Bearded iris.  The second year though it began to shine.  It has red flowers that the hummingbirds love.  Surprisely, it survives through the winter even though it is suppose to only be winter-hardy to zone 5 and I live in zone 6.  It must be in a little bit warmer spot.