Got up, had a coffee and read the paper, went out for brunch, and then decided it was time to do some things in the garden. It was perfect weather for it today: a mix of sun and cloud, a little cool, no wind, and low humidity. Great day for bustling around and doing things.

First thing, Ash and I went to the local garden center and bought some icicle pansies, as I threatened to do yesterday. So now there are icicle pansies in the two urns at the foot of the front stairs, in the window box, and in some little trails through the rose garden in the front yard. They’ll help provide good color after the roses pack it in, although I’m still expecting more blooms this fall.

After planting, I decided to check out the back yard for damage from the storm yesterday. Ash had already been out there, so the garden furniture and potted plants were all back in their proper places (the wind really hadn’t been all that bad). Not much damage to report: a few twigs with leaves from the male cottonwood tree two yards over; a broken hibiscus flower, a bent rose blossom, and some Michaelmas daisies and obedience plants that need restaking.

The tuberose came through it unscathed. I managed to get a good shot of it today. Notice to photographers: I had to close it 1.5 stops to stop the flower from blowing out. Have a look!

Photography over and done with, it was time to do some fall clean-up. I pulled some weeds, cut back the bergamot, gave the weigela a trimming, and then took a look at the lamium. Lamium maculatum is an attractive ground cover, with green and white leaves and little pink flowers. It does well in the shade, which is where I’ve got it planted. I should have read up on it before I bought it, however: “in ideal situations may be quite vigorous.” It sure is.

I decided it was time to rip out a few sections of it before it took over and killed everything else in the garden (especially my bleeding heart plant, which just went in this spring). Grab, pull, and use the secaturs to snip at an appropriate place along the length of it.

Suddenly my left hand (that which was holding the plant bits, roots, and dirt) was stinging.

I have fire ants.I’ve always hated wearing gloves while gardening (unless I was pruning roses, and even then, I took the gloves off as soon as I could). I think I need to buy a good pair of gardening gloves that come up to about my elbow, and seal around the arm, so I can finish removing the Lamium.

Any one know how to kill fire ants? The way they were moving around, I think I must have disturbed a nest when I uprooted some strands.

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