This weekend was full of observances in our family. Saturday was Judy’s birthday. Sunday was our wedding anniversary – the 35th. Also Father’s Day, of course.

Shrub rose ‘Cassie’

It was a quiet weekend in the garden, more green than anything else. There were some other colors, though. Shrub rose ‘Cassie’ was full of blooms, small but sweet an plentiful.


A patch of Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) was in flower in the Left Bank Bed.


Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) is still putting out plenty of blue blooms atop its grassy foliage.


They only open for a few hours each day, but they are popular with pollinators.


Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ now has dozens of flowers, not just a handful.


Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), has its little blooms dangling. This is a plant that is understated in every way except for size and spread.


Starry Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum stellatum) is no longer in bloom, but its striped berries are turning red.

The pandemic makes observances a challenge, but we had happy ones even so, all rolled together on a Sunday. First, in the afternoon we played games on Zoom with both sons and their partners. The internet seems to have greatly expanded the number of silly but entertaining games. We played several, but the one that sticks in my mind is called A Fake Artist Goes to New York, which involves drawing, guessing, and bluffing.

There are 3 caterpillars in this picture, can you see them all?

Then in the evening our local offspring and his spouse (Daniel and Beckee) brought over dinner, and we ate in the back garden (while observing social distancing).

In addition to the observances, my spirits were lifted Sunday by the sight of at least 6 Black Swallowtail caterpillars on the Bronze Fennel. This was a gratifying sight as butterflies have been scarce so far this summer.

Hope that you had a happy Father’s Day, and a joyful day for whatever other observances you may have had this weekend past.

49 Comments on “Observance Weekend”

  1. We’ve seen very few butterflies, but we do have four or five black swallowtail butterflies on the parsley plant on our deck and we had at least four Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed, but they’ve all disappeared by now. We think two of them got big enough to form chrysalises, but we haven’t found those.

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! Belated greetings, and congratulations on your 35th!
    As many flowers as I have planted just for the butterflies, I get so few. I wonder if it’s because I am just a few blocks from rural areas that might have more native plants.

    Have you tried My family likes the one where you make fake definitions. It thought of it when you mentioned “bluffing.” The game gets installed on tv or computer etc. and players use their own devices to input their information. In our case, we use the tv for the main game, and our phones for our guesses. Players get a “room code” to enter each game. Oh, I am not explaining that well! My son says it’s best if all players are in the same room though, because of lag.

  3. How wonderful – both with all those caterpillars and gobs of family fun! I’ve seen quite a few Swallowtails this spring. Today we found this beautiful, odd caterpillar at work. We googled images for probably 15 minutes, but could still not figure out what it was. It remains a mystery.

  4. Your June blooms are gorgeous and congrats on the butterfly larvae. Interestingly, while I’ve enjoyed butterflies, there aren’t any Eastern swallowtail larvae on my fennel or any Pipevine larvae on my Dutch pipevine plant. Hmm…

    Congrats also on your days of joy! We have similar cycles: my hub’s b-day was last Thursday, our anniversary, yesterday. It’s nice to celebrate!

  5. I only saw two caterpillars on the first look but then saw the third. We have a fennel just for the swallow tails, it grows just under the neighbour’s Buddleia but I have not seen any caterpillars this year. The Solomon Seal grows in woods near us and we have a little in the garden but it is not as luxuriant as yours. Amelia

  6. It is nice to know I share my birthday month with Judy. Happy Birthday Judy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like you are making do with all your games etc. Nice that the local child and spousal unit could get by and celebrate. I know that made everything more meaningful. That Betty is a beauty too. Yes, I can see the three cats in your picture. I have bronze fennel but it is staying small. This is its second year in a new place and it refuses to grow tall like it should. It is punishing me for moving it. Cheers.

  7. What a pleasing weekend for you and Judy: celebrations, family, and flowers. While it’s true that “life ain’t what it used to be,” some things endure. Thanks for sharing some of those enduring pleasures –including the caterpillars!

  8. How fun to see so many caterpillars! I love your ‘Betty Corning’. I have one, but it doesn’t get enough sun to flower as well. Congratulations and happy birthday to Judy! We celebrated our anniversary as well – it’s a popular weekend!

  9. The photo of the Ohio Spiderwort is truly beautiful: I can stare at it all day. Very exciting to find the caterpillars. With the eventuality of butterflies, its the gift that keeps on giving.

  10. Congratulations on a weekend rich in meaning…and in caterpillars! I definitely gotta get me some fennel. I used to see them on queen anne’s lace but haven’t for the past few years. I just planted some Zizia aurea so am hoping they’ll like that.
    Where did you get your Betty Corning clematis? I think that is my favorite one and I don’t see it at nurseries.

  11. Happy birthdays, anniversarys and Father’s Day to/for their respective owners! I am very jealous of your Solomon’s Seal. This is a very difficult plant to get hold of here because it hates root disturbance and spreads slowly. We had some in our previous garden and I’m missing it very much in our current one.

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