I enjoyed the past few warm days planting bulbs and pansies around the yard. I saw several white butterflies as I was working and this really excited me …. The end of February and Butterflies don’t normally go together,that is unless the butterflies hatch in a hothouse or conservatory. The Tulips are beginning to barely break the earth so I hope to have them make it to full bloom and be gorgeous! I need to move my daylillies,they love the sun and are currently in shade so I am hoping to have lots of blooms after moving them into the sun. Fall is the perfect time to dig and move these plants so I may have to wait a while longer before tackling that task. The old bulbs, which are comming up are doing well and have healthy green sprouts. Most bulbs return year after year and multiply easily, so expect to have an abundance in only a few years. The green leaves of the bulbs contrast well with the yellow pansies and make for a nice display.The bright color and sweet smell of the pansies will attract and feed the few butterflies that travel through my part of the world during this time of year!
It is recommended when trimming vines after the first cold spell to let them stay loose so the butterflies which are still hatching will not be damaged. I decided to make a vine ball with mine. I use it as a feature in the yard through winter! This has worked wonderfully and guest love that I have the ball…..it travels around the yard as the wind blows, so you never know where it will land. The kids like to hunt for it if they don’t spot the ball when they go outside.Kinda my version of a tumbleweed!
The best part is that I do have butterflies on warm days and I have had more since I made the ball! It was a fun afternoon project and didn’t cost anything but my time.
This is a Passion Vine and is a host plant for the Fritillary Butterfly. The vine stays covered during the summer months and is almost nothing but vine by the end of summer from all the new babies.
With so many different people and so many, many forms of art…..anyone can be creative….just begin!
While visiting the western slope of Colorado before the first blizzard I spotted this great old wheelbarrow leaning up against a cedar tree and would have really enjoyed taking it home with me! I realized that it wasn’t possible,and that it has lived on this property for a very long time,so I settled for a picture! I had fun with the arrangement and really checked out the workmanship of the piece and all the old welds which held it together. I returned the wheelbarrow to its spot, leaning against the tree, and traveled on to my next adventure.
I enjoy being outdoors and when the butterflies aren’t present I entertain myself with whatever creative idea pops up!
The Monarch butterflies from the Western slope of the Rocky mountains and anywhere west of the continental divide in the U.S.A. migrate to southern California. Congregations of overwintering Monarchs are found at more than 200 sites along the California coast, from Mendocino County in the north to San Diego in the south. The Monarchs are present in these areas during the months of October thru February.
I took a journey into my yard last week to count the butterflies before the first cold spell of the season blows in and was very surprised to find so many! I counted around fifteen Monarch’s still hanging out around the blue mist flowers, which still had blooms and a couple of the Frittillarias dancing with each other among the passion-vine. Not so many of the Cabbage White Butterfly, but these are winter hardy and the population may grow as the days become colder!This is a great time to harvest seeds and distribute to areas for next spring and summer. I also planted new Tulip bulbs and Violas to overwinter and have had a lot of butterflies attracted to the blooms! Nothing like wandering and checking the garden for new surprises and old blooms to begin being creative and dreaming of the new season ahead!
For many years I was afraid to plant roses and felt that only experienced gardeners could grow the show stopping beauties,but I took the plunge and bought roses anyway ! I now have many different roses and realize that they all have thorns and do not like to be babied! When it comes trimming time I go after it with gusto and a good thick pair of gloves and am rewarded with beautiful healthy roses the next season! One of my first plants was a miniature Rose…I planted it by the back door …thinking it would be a small bush! Surprise! It grew huge and flowered abundantly, miniature flowers does not always mean miniature bush! So check the tag it may be small when you bring it home but given a year or two it will grow! I have since moved my Miniature to a larger spot where it receives more sun and is really happy and much larger!
The next rose I bought was named Don Juan,much more reserved than the name implies! It is a beautiful climbing rose with a bit of orange and I may get 10 blooms off of it in a season.I have buried banana peels,fish scraps and given liquid fertilizer around the base but nothing seems to help. I have had this rose for five or six years and it is getting better every year…for the first two I thought it would die but it is a fighter i also planted some Blue Mist in front of it and it seems to enjoy the extra butterfly activity!
Roses are a great spot to catch a light spray of water for the Butterflies to have a drink in the heat of the afternoon.
I love to take early morning walks in the garden and observe the butterflies beginning to dry the dew on their wings and lazily fluttering before the full sun dries them completely and encourages them to make a quick getaway as I approach. By mid morning they enjoy flying through the sprinklers to cool off and soaring on the breezes to dry.
The variety of butterflies to my garden has been increasing daily with many more Monarchs making a beautiful show,the Fritillarys are happily playing with each other and dancing in pairs, theSpicebush butterfly seems huge and really stands out among all the smaller species. I have left a few of the weeds to grow as I have noticed that the butterflies are attracted to many of them.I cannot grow the beautiful milkweed plants which the Monarchs like, so I will use the plants that nature grows and it seems to work fine. I have been putting out ripe fruit and watermelon skins and was surprised to grab a handful of fire ants when I checked the feeder yesterday! I sprinkled some diatomecous earth (found in plant stores)around the pole and this helped immensly and kept the ants out of the feeder. I have used this in the past sprinkled around the house to keep bugs from the poarch and patio.