Monday, August 29, 2011

Front Yard New Bed Update for Bloomin' Tuesday

A few days ago, I took some photos of the front yard to do an update, then decided to save them for Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday.  This afternoon, I saw lots of butterflies, and retook the photos so I could include them, but then, they weren't so cooperative, so I decided to go ahead and post the photos I took the other day, then include a few from today.

This is facing the north and east:

I planted several kinds of lantana, and they are blooming nicely.

I was hoping some of these plants would grow tall to provide an illusion of privacy.  I think it worked, but I look forward to some of the perennials getting taller next year.

 The lisianthus plants of different sizes are continuing to bloom.

I am excited for the liatris plants to get larger.  I forgot how many varieties I planted, but there are at least 3 kinds planted across the front area, and winding around the top area as well.

A close up of a Mexican sunflower bloom:

 I have several kinds of persecarias.  I don't remember what kind this one is, but I'm pleased it is blooming a little.

Here's a view from the middle looking west:

Looking east from the same spot:

The dahlias sure are blooming well!  After making me look at bare dirt waiting for them to come up, they are doing their best to get me to change my mind about not growing them next year.  Plus, the butterflies are enjoying them.

Facing west:

The new clematis planted last summer had a second flush of blooms.

Lots of flowers are still blooming.

No dirt is showing here!

We've gone up the steps, and are facing west.

Heading north, I've been cutting the gomphrena plants to keep them from taking over the space of other plants, and they keep growing more.  I better not complain, though.

Facing back south and west, the lovely white flowers in the middle belong to wild quinine, one of my new favorite plants.  The grass is a switchgrass, I think, 'Prairie Wind'.  Both of these plants were only a few inches tall when I planted them.  My, how they have grown!

Facing west, there is another switchgrss across the path.

I love how tall the dahlias have gotten.

The blooms on this plant are not as full as the ones on the other plant from the same package, still, they are attractive to the insects.

A taller lisianthis:

Facing south:

South and west:

This is the wild senna I got from the arboretum.  It has dropped its lower leaves.  I hope it's OK.  It does turn a different color in the fall.

This is the one I got from Benjamin of The Deep Middle.  It was about an inch tall when I planted it.  I am so pleased it has grown so much, and is now larger than the other one.

This is a close up of the one sunflower plant I am growing.

This is a purple coneflower.

Facing north, I am pleased with the kiss me over the garden gate and love lies bleeding plants that I transplanted here from the bed across the sidewalk.  I think all the rain we had helped them get quite tall.

Agastache, 'Golden Jubilee':

This 'Jim Crocket' aster is the first of the asters to bloom, and this is its first season in the garden.

Facing west, I hope I'm not showing too many repeat views.

Facing west and north:

Turning to the east from the northwest corner of the area, the love lies bleeding plants I purchased and planted to provide shade for the front planting area, did not get as tall as the volunteers.

 This is back to the north and east edge of the area.

Here are the photos from today.  Can you see the skipper looking at us from the lantana?

I almost pulled the red salvia plants out because they struggled for weeks after being planted.  I am so glad I spared them.  I have seen a hummingbird twice, or else 2 different hummingbirds enjoying these and the black and blue salvias, as well as the agastache plants near them.  That's a 'Jack Black' sedum blooming.  I got it from Judy, from Through my Garden Window this spring.  She and Benjamin both live in the same city I do.

 I have seen a few Eastern Tailed Blue Butterflies around, but not as many as usual.

 Saturday, we bought a bird bath at the farmer's market.  It's not level, so we'll have to fix that.

 Look how much the sunflower has opened since a few days ago!

This is like one from the other day, but I am including this because the love lies bleeding looks so lovely, and it didn't make it in the one with the similar view.

What perennials should I plant in this sunny dry bed next year?  I wonder what it would be like to put grasses in there.

I like this part of the garden.

I normally pick the statice blooms to dry, but will leave some for the insects now that I know they like them.

I'll close with the view from the house.

I am glad Irene is gone, and wasn't as bad as it could have been, but there was plenty of loss, and it will take awhile for many to clean up and rebuild what was lost.  My heart goes out to folks affected, and I am still praying for you, and also for those affected by drought. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

What I Told a Neighbor Boy about the Butterflies

A number of butterflies have been enjoying the August blooms.  I see them every day, and it gives me much joy.  The photos in this post were taken over the last few days.

Monday, we had our kids and grands over for supper.  I picked the boys up from daycare, and KJ decided to head to the front door instead of going in the back like we usually do.  On the way, we saw a boy I don't know on a bike looking at the yard.  I asked him if he was watching the butterflies.  He told me he was catching them.  Here's something like what came very firmly out of my mouth:  "No, you are not to catch butterflies in this yard.  It is a Monarch Waystation, and catching butterflies is not allowed."  LOL  That was brilliant!  Instead of saying I didn't want him to, I made it sound like it was against the law.  You can use that idea if you want.

The monarchs enjoy a variety of blooms in the garden.  I didn't remember them liking dahlias.  I wasn't planning on planting them next year because they take so long to come up, and not all of them even came up.  Also this one's blooms don't look like the ones on the other plant from the same package.  I may have to change my mind, though, and just plant one kind.

Zinnias seem to be one of the favorites.

I planted the Mexican sunflowers for the monarchs, but other butterflies are enjoying them, too.  I can't tell what kind of swallowtail this is from the photo.  It may be the one folks identified for me as a Palamedes Swallowtail.

I have been deadheading the Mexican sunflower, but if I get behind, the monarchs don't seem to mind.

Here's a silver spotted skipper on a volunteer annual salvia that I got started from scattering seedheads from some other volunteer salvias.

I've counted 4 monarchs almost every day for the last few weeks.  I don't remember if there has been a day when I saw more.

I'm not seeing as many painted ladies as usual this year.

This is the same butterfly as above.

I like the green background in this photo, so I included it, even though I've already shown a monarch on a zinnia.

I need to find my butterfly book.  I think this is an Eastern Swallowtail, but it could be a black swallowtail.

There have also been lots of bees in the yard.  They let me get very close to take photos, and I have never felt threatened by one.

There was a day when I was in the vegetable garden looking for butterflies, and I felt like I was being watched.  Well, I was, by this squirrel, who kept looking after I found it.  I think it was bored.

I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Irene this evening.  Larry and I rarely travel, but for years, I had been wanting to see an ocean.  In June, of 2007, we drove to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We were in awe of the ocean.  We had a wonderful time, and explored quite a lot of areas there, and Atlantic Beach, including where some of the coverage is.  I hope those of you affected by the storm are in safe places, and are doing OK.  I've been praying for you.