Phantom of the Mexican Sunflower

Butterflies are gradually becoming more scarce as we slide into the last week of September. However, this weekend I got a lucky capture of a Black Swallowtail on a Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). This guy’s stance and coloring made me think of Phantom of the Opera, plus it kind of looks like he is wearing …

Do you remember Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)? It used to be my number one plant for filling containers all over the shady Back Garden, providing bountiful and vibrant color from May to September. Starting around 2011, though, the scourge of Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM), caused gardeners everywhere to turn their backs on the stricken plants.

Scenes from the Back Garden

For today’s post I’ve got just a few peeks from the shady Back Garden.

Yesterday we saw what the Front Garden had on offer at the beginning of July. Today we head to the shady back garden, under the dappled shade of Silver Maples and other mature trees.

Winter Kill

This might seem a little late for a post on plants lost to our last winter (an extraordinarily severe one). But sometimes you need more time to be really sure of your losses.

Scarlet Tanager, I Presume

This past weekend a pair of Scarlet Tanagers visited the back garden. Like the Indigo Bunting, this is a bird that we see only once every year or so.

From One Mother to Another

I don’t believe in coincidences. It cannot be just chance that so many of our best backyard bird sightings happen on or the day before Mother’s Day. I’m convinced that these rare appearances are a gift from one mother to another, namely from Mother Nature to Judy.

Spring Miscellany: Tulips, Orioles, Lenten Roses, and Daffodils

This seems like a good time for a post devoted to miscellaneous development in the garden.

Before the Storm

So we got back from Tennessee on Friday afternoon, and the garden welcomed us back with a fabulous show. However, the weather gods were preparing a more malicious welcome, namely the 3-5″ of snow predicted for the following day.

Book Review: Actual History is Better than Game of Thrones

I know lots of people who are excited about the impending premier of the 8th and final season of Game of Thrones. It’s a compelling show, no doubt. But where will these people turn when the season is over? I would humbly suggest the book Ghost on the Throne, by James S. Romm.