The buckeye butterfly, seen below, is one of the species I've been seeing in increasing numbers this year, as compared to the last few years. Its host plants are verbena, snapdragon and plantain, all of which we have in our yard. Although, while the verbena and snaps are by design, the plantain is not! It does show that having a wide variety of plants will help draw in different varieties.
I just talked to a woman yesterday who wants to add different plants to her yard next year to attract pollinators. People are really interested in increasing habitat and feeding opportunities for bees and butterflies. I think it's paying off, because I saw more species and a larger number of butterflies overall this year.
I'm still seeing an occasional Monarch, too. Yesterday, one fluttered by the kitchen window and today, one few out of a maple tree as Lucy and I walked by.
The hyacinth bean vine outside the shop is at its peak. The flowers are attractive, but the shiny purple pods are the real star of the show.
People sometimes dismiss annual vines since they must be planted each year. But with just one season to grow, you get lots of coverage quickly, making them ideal to shade a outdoor seating area. It's easy to save seeds from the hyacinth bean by letting pods dry up on the vine and then harvesting the seeds inside