Our first freeze followed by those windy days sure changed the look of the garden. Flowers on Fuchsias and on Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ have disappeared along with the canopy of color displayed on the trees above them. Between rain, wind, and cold I have managed to clean up most of the leaves and replace their slug infested blanket with a fresh layer of mulch. The idea is to reduce the number of slugs laying in wait for the young, tender growth of spring. Cleaning up all of the decaying plant material that was left behind in the wake of our first blast of wintry weather will also help to reduce their numbers – especially the babies that continue to hatch.
The pathetic looking daylily with its base surrounded by fallen leaves in the picture at the right is a perfect example of just how opportunistic those young slugs are. When temperatures drop, they hide close to the ground, safely tucked into the folds of the fallen leaves. When temperatures rise, they slither up to leisurely dine on what is left of the daylily foliage. I will need to spend another eight hours cleaning up in order to finish the job.