For several weeks, we've noticed that our eight-foot-tall avocado tree -- which lives in a pot just inside glass doors to the garden -- was developing some kind of white, crusty stuff on its leaves. It was clearly evidence of a houseplant pest. The white crust was also getting on the windows, the floor, and other plants. I'd clean it up and it would reappear.
Yesterday I decided we needed a major cleaning of that whole area. So I moved all the plants into the garden, including the avocado and an almost equally tall yucca, and hosed them down to clean off their dusty leaves and give them some fresh water. In paying special attention to the avocado, I discovered that it has a pretty severe case of scale, which is probably what produced that white crust.
Here's the area around the back door with most of the plants gone and the windows and floor freshly cleaned. It looks so open! Dave expressed approval because we get a better view of the garden.
Now we're toying with the idea of leaving the avocado outside, at least for the next few months. To be honest, that tree is becoming a bit of a problem. It's just so big. I doubt it could survive a London winter, so putting it in the ground isn't an option. Nor is leaving it on the patio, unless we decide we don't mind it dying. And we might be at that point.
Meanwhile, it can enjoy some time in nature, among the birds and bugs and squirrels. We'll determine its fate later this year.
Remember the pathetic rescued ficus tree? This is what it looks like now. Still pathetic, but leafier.
Weather forecasts continue to taunt us with promises of rain that do not materialize. We had rain in the forecast yesterday morning, afternoon and overnight, and none of it actually happened. It's dry as a bone out there. I think today we may really get some, though -- the sky is cloudy and the rain chance is as high as 75 percent.
We've had temperatures above 93º F (34º C) for six days in a row. The BBC says that's the longest stretch of such hot weather since 1961. Today the heat is supposed to break, with a high of 88º F, and even cooler temperatures the rest of the week with more rainfall. Please God! Make the avocado happy!
The squabbly starlings are still visiting the bird bath daily. Yesterday I also saw a goldfinch, but didn't have the camera handy.
I called my Mom in Florida and gave her an update on life around here. (Not that there's much to tell -- mainly that I'm headed back to work in a week.) Meanwhile, Dave made a peach pie and a lasagna. I wish I felt more like eating. I'm just so hot.
(But as I prepare to hit publish on this post, I'm hearing raindrops outside!)