The carrots disappeared even as they grew, and the roses and their leaves have holes in them. Based on a tiny bit of Googling, I decided that at least one of these problems was caused by aphids. The answer? Ladybugs! I bought a container at Orchard Supply Hardware and followed the instructions, setting them free in the dark and in a moist area (before leaving for OSH, I watered the rose bed).
I think the aphids are gone, although, dishearteningly, the ladybugs seem to have flown away home. However, the earwigs are out of control and nesting in the rose petals. This is disgusting, and somewhat Gothic (and not the cool kind of Gothic). After a little more Googling, I discovered that there are a variety of organic solutions. The one I settled on was the one also rumored to work on slugs–beer. (I also discovered that they allegedly eat aphids. But trust me, they were not carrying their weight here.)
Since I had a couple of small plastic containers that were only going to become part of the recycling, I decided to reuse them instead. Now there is one near the brick walkway in the back yard, and another in the rose bed. So far they seem to be working.
But between the pests and the evaporation, it’s clear that I’m going to need to buy more beer. There’s no reason to share that much of the good stuff with things I’m trying to kill. I’m pretty sure the earwigs don’t have that sophisticated a palate.