I counted at least six monarch chrysalises in the garden today and about a dozen swallowtail caterpillars on the rue.
Lots of stuff isn’t looking so great in the garden right now, but lots of stuff is. The zinnias are taking over, the sedums are pinking, and the goldenrod and monarch caterpillars are peaking. I counted more than a dozen caterpillars in the milkweed, and found a few swallowtail caterpillars on the rue as well.
The late summer flowers are in bloom — rudbeckia, echinacea, goldenrod — and zinnias are flowering where I let their seeds fall out back last year. The lavender in front never really recovered this year; I think I’ll replace it with mums.
We’re in peak summer flower season: the rudbeckia, shasta daisies, echinacea, white hydrangea, Russian sage, blanket flowers, and butterfly bush are all gorgeous. The Joe Pye weed, autumn joy sedum, goldenrod, and mums are getting ready to flourish. The yarrow, roses, and salvias are done, though, and I need to cut them back to clean things up a bit.
When I watch the garden from my office window, I often see large swallowtails out there now, and I found a couple of fat caterpillars on the rue. The rabbits are getting my milkweed (and liatris) out back; I hope there will be enough for the monarchs. The back beds need another year to fill in after I moved so much stuff around this winter.
I’m still waiting for the beds to fill in — I delayed a lot of growth by moving everything around over the winter. I hope it didn’t permanently damage stuff, and I hope I have the patience this coming winter to leave everything alone so it can re-establish. Maybe things will fill in more by July and August. We’ll see. That’s one reason for posting these status updates with pictures, so I’ll have a comparison next year.
I took my coffee out and sat in my garden chair this morning; the morning was cool, and the colors inspired me to get my camera out.
The garden survived our trip to Iceland, thankfully.
I’ve been checking the rue for swallowtail caterpillars, and I saw my first one of 2022 this morning.
I’ve been checking the swamp milkweeds to see if they’d come back. I was getting nervous because they seemed to take longer this year than in previous years. Three of the five have finally re-emerged; I’ll need to replace the other two so the monarch caterpillars don’t run out of food.
The fescue and scabiosa are blooming, and as is the norm these days, I saw a bunny in the bed, nibbling away at the goldenrod.