July 9: caterpillar, goldenrod, and new chair

Our son asked yesterday, “Are there any caterpillars in the garden yet?”


swallowtail caterpillar on rue july
Swallowtail caterpillar on rue

I’m only aware of one (other than a small crop of swallowtail caterpillars earlier in the spring on the rue), and I remember they were quite late last year as well. I want to keep better records this year of when I do things in the garden, and when caterpillars appear.

We were supposed to camp this weekend, but our car broke down and we stayed home instead. I’m relieved, honestly, because it’s been weeks since I’ve been home on a weekend and had a chance to enjoy the garden. I’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning things up and moving stuff around out there:

Butterfly/caterpillar/bird watch

  • One swallowtail caterpillar on rue.
  • No caterpillars (or aphids) on milkweed yet.
  • No monarch sightings.
  • Saw a swallowtail butterfly on the milkweed yesterday.
  • Saw a hummingbird drinking from the bee balm, despite the ragged state of the plants and flowers.
  • Saw a bird splash briefly in the bird bath in the evening.

Gardening update

  • My husband moved one of the adirondak chairs he made under the dogwood, and it’s amazing! I moved some phlox around to make room for the foot stool, and I brought the table over as well. I also moved some of the purple salvia from under the echinacea to over by my new perch.
  • Moved three goldenrods from under the tree out back to 1/ a sunnier spot in the back bed; 2/ the herb garden, next to the catnip; 3/ behind bee balm in hilltop bed
  • Planted two perennial tickseeds (Coreopsis “moonbeam”) in herb garden to add some yellow (there was too much lavender/purple without anything to pop it)
  • Applied rabbit repellant (cow’s blood, $21 for a spray bottle for which the sprayer broke after applying repellant to four plants) to the milkweed out back in the evening
  • Cut seed heads from rue
  • Deadheaded indigo salvia and yarrow
  • Weeded
  • Dug up a passionflower volunteer and moved it to the trellis. It seemed to still be attached to the mother root, from which no new passionflower grew where it needed to grow. Not sure if the volunteer will make it after I ripped it away from the main root.
  • Trimmed bee balm to keep it out of the bird bath.
adirondak chair under dogwood
My new perch

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