So You Want To Attract Some Ladybugs?

I discovered this by accident recently.

The perfect ladybug magnet.

aphids, brittlebush

Yes, ladybugs love aphids. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Let me tell you a quick story.

ladybug, brittlebush, flower

About a month ago, my husband released a container-full of ladybugs into our garden.

We followed the directions. Kind of.

We released them at dusk, just not over the period of a few days. So as we watched, about half of the ladybugs took flight and disappeared into the sunset.

Over the next few days, the ladybugs were fewer and fewer. My hubby was fairly annoyed, saying, “That’s the worst 9 bucks I’ve ever spent.”

I was disappointed but had previous experience gardening, and knew we’d eventually be home to some ladybugs. After all, we did have a lot of flowering plants and shrubs, and there were aphids here and there, as well as other yummies.

Fast forward a little over a month, and the other day my husband decided to trim the wild brittlebush growing in our garden. I went outside and the bush was very lopsided, and obviously not done being trimmed.

My husband told me that as soon as he started trimming, ladybugs started flying out of the bush, so he stopped.

My teen daughter and I took a closer look, and this is what we saw.

ladybug, larva, brittlebush

Ladybug larvae at different stages. All. Over. The. Bush.

ladybug, pupa, brittlebush

Ladybug pupa stages. My daughter commented this looks like a gross, mutated strawberry.

IMG_3702 (2)

Some ladybugs still looked long.


Some had no spots. This one had half its shell darker than the other half.


And of course… *queue up the Barry White*.

brittlebush flower

What has these ladybugs procreating like there’s no tomorrow?

Well, yes, the enormous food supply on this one plant. But this plant that is coated in aphids is called a Brittlebush, or Encelia farinosa.

It grows wild in the desert around us. It’s a beautiful weed really.

It attracts birds, bees, and other little critters that you want in your garden.

They normally grow like crazy once they get going, and they self-seed. I have several babies growing beneath this mama. I don’t consider it invasive, though.

I’m not sure about the ones you would find in a nursery, but the wild ones here have a taproot. I’ve tried propagating from cuttings. Failure every time.

If you want one, you have to dig it up, making sure to dig up the taproot with it.


Ours is about 4 feet high right now, including the flowers.

So if you live in AZ, or another similar environment, give this weed a try! Let the aphids go crazy, and the ladybugs will come.

And stay.

And have lots of hot, wild lovin’.


Been Gardening…

I know.  I know.

Em and I have been severely neglecting our blog.  Life and ADD have been getting in the way.

I don’t know about Em, but I’ve been taking lots of photos and have lots of post drafts saved.  I just need to… ya know, follow through and finish.

I’ve been gardening again, though!

I’ve been dabbling in different planting methods.  More like half-assing them or only partially implementing them on purpose.



My bare root roses that I planted in December are starting to bloom.


It’s been fun because I didn’t mark any of them, and I didn’t plant any duplicates.  So it’s a surprise each time one plant blooms.


I planted all sorts of colors and types, mainly fragrant, hybrid ones, though.

There are about 20 bushes but only a few have opened their buds.


Everything else is flowering and doing really well.


Ice plants.


My daughter’s azalea plant is pretty much throwing up flowers left and right.


I’m planning to propagate this potato vine and create a wall of these things on the chain link fence.


So gardening has been my focus lately, among all the mom and wife duties.

I’m still working on that post about lasagna gardening and Hugelkultur.  I’ve been sort of implementing these methods.

As you can see, everything is growing wonderfully.  Plus, I have no weeds.  That’s the best part.

Em and I are still here, if not completely.  Thanks for sticking around!  🙂

My Hair Dryer Tried To Kill Me


Yes, it’s been a while.  I have to say I’ve been afraid to write.  I’ve had little or no ideas, and I have been dealing with the loss of a dear friend.

I don’t want to write about that. 

I’m going to tell you about my hair dryer. 


This is a picture of my hair dryer from Google images.


This is GIANT picture of my hair dryer NOW.

I was drying my hair, all you know, into it and feeling the hot air from the dryer.  My long hair blowing in the electric breeze of my expensive hair dryer, when suddenly HUGE green sparks start flying out at my face.  It was sparking from the front where the air comes out and the back where it sucks the air in.

I was burned on my face, my hair was singed and I screamed.  Dropped the hair dryer which continued to send out sparks and long finger like green electrical…DEATH!

Finally the outlet popped and the damn thing shut off.  The outlet and the hair dryer have the safety buttons.  Neither one shut off soon enough.

Yes, the back of my hair dryer was and always is clean of lint or any dust.  My husband actually cleans it for me. 


The hair dryer is cracked in half from us trying to figure it out. 

Any thoughts? 

I think it was just done, but I didn’t need to be burned or possibly electrocuted in the process.  I’m thinking about writing to the manufacturer.

Not drying my hair again anytime soon.  40 degrees and raining.  SIGH, guess I’ll just be cold until July.

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