We used to have a crabapple tree on our front lawn. The crabapple was affected by carpenter ants and was weakening. It broke my heart to see it come down, as each spring we had beautiful pink flowers on it. I was reminded, each time I looked at the tree, of my dear father-in-law, who passed away a few years back. He trimmed the tree back one year for us. I cried when I saw how much of the tree was cut away! He assured me that it would come back even nicer, but I didn’t believe him. But the tree did come back, and it was lovelier than ever! My FIL was right.
This spring, I asked my husband to dig up a circular area surrounding the stump so that I could plant some flowers. I decided to plant white marigolds. My brother picked up a flat for me at the Burpee outlet. I planted the marigolds, added a garden gnome and a solar light to the stump, and watched the marigolds come to life. They were beautiful! Until about 2 weeks ago, that is. The plants stopped producing new flowers, the leaves started to turn black, and now the marigolds look like someone took a flamethrower to them! They are nothing but black skeletons! I could cry. I’m not sure what happened to them, but I suspect that either some kind of fungus or maybe simply too much rain at once brought about their demise. I’ll have to have them cut down now. I don’t know if there is still time to plant something else in their place, and I’m not even sure if that is a good idea or not. But right now, my front lawn looks like Morticia Addams’ flower garden! If I have any gardening friends out there, maybe you can let me know what might have happened to my marigolds. If it was a fungus, can you tell me whether I should add something to the soil before planting new flowers there? It might be getting close to the time when mums might be a good choice. I welcome your comments!