Sep 16: chrysalises galore (and swallowtail caterpillars)

I counted at least six monarch chrysalises in the garden today and about a dozen swallowtail caterpillars on the rue.

Monarch chrysalis in Russian sage 1
Monarch chrysalis in wood pile
Monarch chrysalis in rue from above
Monarch chrysalis in rue

Sep 10: flowers and caterpillars in the garden

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.

Monarch caterpillar in nepeta
Autumn joy sedum
Lantana and goldenrod
Cleome
Swallowtail caterpillar on rue
Goldenrod and red mums
Sedum by the mailbox

Aug 3: garden status

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.

Jul 9: garden status

Basil is starting to fill out in the raised bed. Time for pesto!
Brown eyed Susans, coneflowers, and Russian sage are blooming
I dead-headed the roses this week so a new flush of buds could bloom
The grasses are getting large
I like the rearrangement of the back bed, but it’s going to need another year at least for everything to fill in after me moving stuff around.

June 12: garden status

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.

Out back

My new Mexican feather grasses; they’re my favorite
Back hill and raised bed
Back hill bed

Out front

Yarrow in full bloom out front

May 23: first caterpillar of the season

I’ve been checking the rue for swallowtail caterpillars, and I saw my first one of 2022 this morning.

Swallowtail caterpillar on rue

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.

Fescue in bloom
Hello bunny

May 22: garden status

First rose through the nepeta
Nepeta and roses in bloom
Rose bed
Salvia by mailbox is peaking
Yarrow and salvias by the bird bath bloom together
Yarrow in bloom and grasses filling in
Back hill still has some filling in to do, but flowers are blooming
Jethro Tull coreopsis
Back hill from below

May 15: Garden status

Mexican feather grass and purple salvia
I need to cut those old hydrangea flowers off
May 15 and we’re better than February, but still have a ways to go to fill in