Tag: Swamp Milkweed

Don’t Give Up On Monarch Butterflies

For about a week there’s been a single Monarch Butterfly flying around our garden, and paying particular attention to the Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). After I got a fuzzy picture with my phone, Judy sat outside on the front steps waiting for the Monarch to appear so she could get these photos with her Nikon …

Favorite Fragrant Flowers for Future Reference

Joseph Tychonievich has an excellent article on fragrant plants for the garden in the most recent issue of Fine Gardening. (A brief digression: the most recent issue of Fine Gardening is the June issue. The June issue arrived at my house on March 27th. I don’t mean to be picky, but this makes me feel …

Situation Grim But Not Hopeless for Monarch Butterflies

Scientists have just released this year’s report on the number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico. Those numbers, measured in the amount of land occupied by Monarch colonies, vary from year to year. The last three years, however, have all been at historic lows. There was an increase over last winter, from 0.67 to 1.13 …

Are All Milkweeds Good For Monarchs?

There was an interesting article in the New York Times on Monday about Monarch butterflies and milkweed. The takeaway is that planting Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasavica) may do more harm than good, according to several researchers. Milkweeds, of course, are the only plants that are eaten by the caterpillars of Monarch butterflies.Changes in farming practices …

Late August Foliage

And now I’m going to force myself to stop obsessing with brightly colored flowers and focus on some calming green stuff. This is something I need to do to keep from getting overstimulated. Fortunately, My Hesperides GardenĀ hosts Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day to remind me of this essential aspect of the garden. ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) …

Blooms in August

Once again it is time for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (GBBD), hosted by May Dreams Gardens. GBBD provides a mid-month opportunity to count up our flowering plants like a latter day pirate counting his treasures. So put on your eyepatch, and let’s go. The Driveway Border is the most colorful of all the front garden …

Cheerful Giants of the Garden

The Island Bed in the front garden really peaks in high summer. That’s when the cupplant (Silphium perfoliatum) and sweet joe pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum) come into bloom. These friendly giants are Midwest natives and great plants for birds and pollinators. In spring the Island Bed is blue – there is squill (Scilla sibirica) in …

A Monarda Moment

In mid-summer the Monardas take center stage in the Sidewalk Border. The blue and purple salvias retain a bit of color, but are mostly done. The ‘Husker Red’ Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) and golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) have been cut back. Now come the Monardas in red, lavender, and purple (yes, purple). The Monarda that demands …

Plant Milkweed, Before It’s Too Late! I Mean It!

I don’t want to put a damper on anybody’s holiday. The New York Times didn’t ask me if now would be the best time to run another article on efforts to halt the rapid decline of Monarch Butterflies. But they did run it today, and people should read it. Actually, the issue was presented in …

Are ‘Nativars’ The Enemy?

The most recent issue of the Wild Ones bi-monthly journal arrived the other day, featuring a big page one article on ‘Nativars’, or cultivars of native species. I’m a member of Wild Ones, which seeks to promote the use of native plants. The article lays out the organization’s recently adopted stance regarding these plants, which …