Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gardening Season is Upon Us!

The Henrietta Parks Department has cut the grass and they've brought the string trimmers in giving me my cue to get in the dirt and rip out those weeds. Here are some before and after shots. As I gardened in the bed around the park sign I felt like the horse, I mean butterfly whisperer. A little Painted Lady hovered around me within inches the whole time.

Before.........

...and after.
Planted with variegated red geraniums and trailing licorice, which is what attracted the butterfly. In the center are giant hostas coming up called Sum and Substance. In another week or so it will be bursting forth with color as the licorice trails over the walls. If you are looking for a low maintenance trailing container plant, licorice is the one. It is a fast grower, does great in the heat and looks great all summer. Most nurseries now carry it.

Butterflies need to warm up their wings to fly as they are cold blooded.


THE PAINTED LADY
Migrant arriving here from North Africa in the latter part of May or early June mid - July to late autumn - continuously brooded. In gardens - lanes and fields where thistles grow fond of visiting ivy blossom in the autumn - for nectar.
Caterpillar. Various species of thistles - burdock - stinging nettle and globe artichoke. Fully grown 1 1/4 ins. long - greyish - black with a pale double stripe down the back and - a yellow stripe along each side of the body very spiny. This butterfly does not hibernate and dies when the cold weather begins in late autumn a - few may migrate south.


Resting on the licorice.


So close!


Walkway, before. Uggghh, all that crab grass managed to creep in.


and after. Planted with purple violas, pink primrose and red geraniums.

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