This spring and summer have been a crazy time due to the pandemic. I have been working from home since March 17th. We just returned to our offices last week full time. The weekends have been packed full of time in the garden. I have had the best time with my butterfly caterpillars. I have raised about 25 this year. A mix of Monarchs and Eastern Black Swallowtails.
This period has also given me time to reflect and appreciate all that God has given me and to do more with what I have. I have always loved beautiful gardens but haven't had the time or energy to really make it a priority until this year. I am no garden expert for sure but learning new things and watching what happens when you put your best efforts towards a goal is so satisfying.
I did plant several things by seed. I have learned patience with seed planting for sure. I got frustrated and had failures but I learned so much. One packet of zinnia seeds did not germinate at all. I decided to replant something in its place and it turned out perfectly. In the past, I might have dwelled on the failure but this year I decided to keep on trying and kept on moving forward.
Enough talk, let's get to the pretty pictures!
This first picture is a side by side photo of my butterfly garden just outside my big window. June vs July difference. Now when I first started planting back in March / April, I thought the July picture would be what things should look like in May. Wow, I was wrong. Patience - remember patience.
Things in this garden include Zinnia's, Phlox, Purple coneflower, Purple pincushion, Coreopsis, Penta, Lantana, Aster, Cosmos, Shasta Daisy, two kinds of Lavendar and Gomphrena. The zinnia, purple coneflower, and phlox were all from seed. I just planted the cosmos a few weeks ago and they are starting to get tall but no blooms yet.
In that very far back corner of the yard is my milkweed corner. I have been overridden with aphids but today I saw light at the end of the tunnel with some lacewings and ladybug larva. Here is a picture of the ladybug larva. Can't believe this will be a ladybug!
Here is a pink zinnia with the blue bachelor's button. These two were from seed together in the same area. I am impressed by how long the bachelor's button has lasted in this heat. They are starting to fade but still, some are blooming.
Next is my dahlia that I started from seed in January in the house. Also, my lemon spice jalapenos. They are just now starting to turn yellow.
This next one is the latest planting. I wanted to use my grandfather's wheelbarrow somewhere. It has a few holes in the bottom so I thought it would make a great planter. I had a bare spot in my Dad's rose garden so here it sits with purslane planted inside.
Mexican petunia's that I received from a co-worker. They just started blooming! I have a butterfly bush beside it, milkweed in a pot, and a mum behind it.
Here is my lemon bee balm that I started from seed. I split these up around the yard and love them. I've got to get the correct name from the seed pack. I may be saying it wrong. I use common names most of the time. Some call this wedding cake plant.
Magnolia tree bloom, and my Pride of Barbados plant.
This is one of three Hawaiian Plumeria. They are in their second year so I'm hoping for blooms next year.
Pink Seminole Hibiscus. One of my very favorites!
These last two are showing a hummingbird on my red zinnias and an Eastern Black Swallowtail egg. I have 6 caterpillars currently and 2 eggs left to hatch. I do have one chrysalis ready to eclose any day.
I hope this puts a smile on your face and love in your heart today. There are so many things to be thankful for. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll visit you soon.
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