Thursday, July 27, 2017

The pollinator situation has improved this summer. We saw quite a few honeybees, more than in the last few years combined. They were all over the thyme walk when it bloomed and now the clover in the yard is keeping them occupied.

We've had a number of monarch butterfly sightings. There are at least a pair, because we've seen two at once. And happily, I found a caterpillar on the swamp milkweed recently. I hope there are more and we have a good crop this year.

There are a lot of swallowtail butterflies around - both the tiger and the black. Caterpillars on the dill and parsley and according to my book, this is a swallowtail chrysalis. The two points on the top seem to be the identifying characteristic. It's on the inside front wall of the greenhouse, which is a protected spot.

Our plant sale continues. We still have a number of nice perennials available and a new crop of basil and dill.

I'm thankful for the break from the very humid weather. Much easier to work outside!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The heat makes it a bit more difficult, but our garden work continues. I'm harvesting perennial herbs for drying and beginning to harvest annuals as they size up. I've cut back all the lavenders, except the later blooming varieties, which still have lots of bee activity.

And I was very happy to see dozens of honeybees on the flowers in the thyme walk. I hope this means things are improving for the bees.

Our plant sale continues. We have lots of nice perennials and a few annuals left. Plus, you get a free basil with your purchase!

Notes on some great garden plants:

Verbena is an easy and very pretty plant to grow. Although not winter hardy, it has reseeded every year, even after a severe winter. The bright purple blooms are on tall, wiry stems. It's a see-through plant - even planted in the front of a bed, it doesn't block the view of plants behind it. Attractive to both bees and butterflies.

Ammi is a new addition this year. Delicate Queen Anne's lace like flowers come in white, but also pink and purple. Looks good in the garden and also works as a filler with fresh cut flowers.