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Here is the sight that greeted me when I arrived home last week from a twelve day trip to northern Germany:I literally breathed a sigh of relief to see it looking so good!  My good friend Lynda did a great job keeping it watered during the hot, dry weather, and no nasty critter had come and eaten every last plant to the ground!

There was some damage:

Something ate all the leaves off of the marigolds and hollyhocks.  I suspect slugs attacked the marigolds–I did neglect to apply another round of Sluggo to that area before we left.  As for the hollyhocks, I don’t know.  It’s possible my woodchuck friends nibbled them off, or perhaps a bug.  I doubt slugs there, because there is another row of marigolds in the bed with the hollyhocks, and they are intact.  Any ideas, fellow garden friends?

The hollyhocks started to recover quite quickly, already showing new growth:

A critter of some sort ventured onto my side porch, and enjoyed the sweet potato vine and one side of the hibiscus, as well as some petunias and morning glories in the window boxes.  I don’t know whether the woodchucks can haul themselves up there, or if something else came to visit.  It could have been deer, but there’s other “deer candy” in that area that went untouched.  Brazen, whoever it was!

Of course there’s been plenty of catch up work to do, mostly of the cutting back and dead-heading variety.  The daisies, so lovely a few weeks ago, were a rather bedraggled bunch, and the Oriental lilies were clearly finished with their early summer show.  All of the rose bushes needed a good trim, too, and a good dusting of an organic fungicide/beetle repellent:

It was a great trip, and I plan to show you pictures of the Herrenhausen Garten in Hannover soon.  In the meantime, here’s my current favorite section of my own garden, with the threadleaf Coreopsis, bee balm, and balloon flowers all blooming strongly!