Fall gardening: Sept 30

I still haven’t cut the milkweed back, and I’m so glad I haven’t. I just counted 10 monarch chrysalises in the garden — 3 on the rue, 6 on the stairs, 1 on the rosemary — and there’s still at least one fat caterpillar on the plants. The monarch on the stool in the garage emerged today while I was out running errands. My husband sent a video:

There’s a chrysalis under the stairs that looks like it will emerge any minute, and two of the ones on the rue look close as well.

Caterpillar party: swallowtails on rue

Monarch chrysalis on rosemary
I also counted 13 swallowtail caterpillars on the established rue. Two of my cuttings have begun growing and thriving in the herb garden, so I’m excited to have them establish fully next year.

I moved a bunch of stuff today and planted some asters as well:

  • Moved three black eyed Susans  to the herb garden; ripped out the catnip.
  • Moved some of the zinnias to where the black eyed Susans had been. The zinnias were to tall and were getting leggy.
  • Where the zinnias had been, Planted 3 New England Asters and 2 cornflower blue asters that look like mums: Peter III Blue asters from YoderMums.
  • Moved the white pentas behind the asters, and the firecracker flowers behind those.
  • This opened up space by my chair, and I moved the guara next to my chair because it was hidden in the milkweed and I could never see it.
  • Planted cabbages and pansies in the flower boxes.

Fall flower box
Now I can see the rest of the garden from my chair again. The zinnias were gorgeous in their prime but they got way bigger than I expected and started blocking my view. I couldn’t see the birdbath, the lantana, the Shasta daisies, the gomphrena, or the bee balm.

Garden at end of September, with new purple asters

Garden after moving the zinnias and planting asters
It took me all day to plant everything and now it’s too late to sit in my chair and enjoy it. I hope the butterflies will still come. And I don’t know if the hummingbirds are still around, but I hope so. They’ll really like the guara.

September 30 garden

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