susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Milkweed & Monarchs

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Last summer, I attended a workshop on attracting Monarch butterflies to your garden.
I purchased these seed packets of Milkweed seeds to plant in the dormant season.

Today, I planted my seeds along fence lines in 3 separate areas.
This is to insure the seeds will come up in at least one bed.

I have since read that Milkweed grows ‘like a weed’ in certain areas.
I truly hope I have not gone over the line,
and introduced any more invasive plants in my locale.


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Monarch Butterfly workshop

This morning I attended a workshop to learn how to attract and raise Monarch butterflies.
While they live and mate in my area, they need to migrate south for the winter.

Their survival rate can increase from 10% to 90%, when you raise the caterpillars in captivity.  There are so many predators in nature.

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In my gardens I have the flowers the butterfly needs for nectar during their short life span.  I purchased seed for 2 varieties of milkweed plants it needs to lay eggs on and for the caterpillars to eat.

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Flowers of the different varieties of milkweed do not necessarily look alike.  These were particularly pretty and colorful.  That is a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed leaf above.

When a butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis,
it’s wings take a few hours to fully open up and get un-wrinkled.
In the right photo, the dark colored chrysalis has a butterfly ready emerge.

The native plant and butterfly gardens were gorgeous.

Here is a link to the place I visited:  www.elktonbutterflies.com


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Live and Learn

When I was younger, I thought I knew a lot (sometimes I even thought I knew it all!).  Everyday, as I get older, I realize just how little I know.
Does this make me smart ?  Because I know that I have lots to learn.
Or does this make me stupid, because I am dumb enough to think I know anything?

* * * * *
Enough rambling, I have a correction to make:
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I posted this photo on June 29, 2015, and claimed it was a Monarch butterfly with a lily.  WRONG!  Monarchs are orange and black, what is in the photo is a Swallowtail butterfly dining on an Asiatic Species Lily.
* * * * *
And a discovery.  Since July 4, 2015 when I posted Weed or Not, a new flower bloomed, and I recognized Coreopsis:
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Can you tell that the leaves look the same?
The specimen on the right has significantly more altitude than the shorter flower.
I am waiting for the taller one to bloom before the deer discover it and chew the buds off.


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Butterfly & Lily

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Just a quiet evening on the front deck before dinner, and look who came to visit!  We have been seeing more Monarch butterflies these last few weeks than I can ever remember.  I took a chance to run in the house for my camera, and this must have been a very hungry butterfly!

These golden wonders of nature are the pay-off for the hours spent in my flower garden.
I have been planting bee, butterfly and bird attracting plants, and here is living proof that it worked!
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