Monarch Sighting

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Briefly I glimpsed a Monarch butterfly earlier in the summer, but was unable to get a photograph. Fast forward and today a Monarch was in residence in the garden exploring, flitting between recently opened zinnias and lantana and I snapped several shots before it darted away.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

I stationed myself close into the lantana where, while waiting for the monarch to reappear, I was lucky to witness this fascinating Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris thysbe). Thought you might enjoy seeing it in action. I have noticed more than usual of these hummingbird clearwings around the garden this year.

When the monarch returned and began enjoying lantana, the hummingbird moth buzzed by rather aggressively. Collecting itself, the butterfly hopped to another flower and resumed the business at hand.

In the past several years I saw few or no monarchs, but I hope to see lots this year. The flower that attracted this one is Lantana camara (Common lantana).

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The tree in the background is Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper). It is one of five planted about 7 years ago as a screening hedge and is the only one that survived the past winter.  The others are completely brown but I’m waiting until fall to have them removed.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

 

 

 

In A Vase On Monday – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

In A Vase On Monday – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

I look forward each week to joining Cathy at Rambling In The Garden, along with other garden bloggers from around the globe, in sharing an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

After enjoying an exciting and special time with family during the weekend, I quickly pieced together a simple Ikebana design for today. A few Asclepias plants are still blooming despite very dry conditions in the garden, but pods are forming as well. One seedpod and one flowering stem were the starting point for today’s vase.

I paired the Asclepias with a section of bark from a crape myrtle from the front garden (another storm mishap for those of you who are familiar with the history of my poor trees–this one being a particularly galling incident considering how dry it is still).

Just before photographing the vase I tucked in two sprigs of angelonia to kick up the color impact. Angelonia is a great annual for summer color.

Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon)

Materials
Flowers and Seedpod
Angelonia (Summer snapdragon)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Bark
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Vase

Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

Walking down the hall toward this vase after I had already finished this post, I noticed the the design is much more engaging from the side, than from head on the way it was designed. More rhythm, more interest. If it were not so late I would be tempted to experiment from this angle, but there is always next week.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

I will finish with an homage to our little crape myrtle out front. Until I photographed the bark I had not really noticed the little heart. I think it loves me too.

Crape Myrtle Bark

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week, allowing us to share our passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

Echinacea-A Big Draw

Echinacea draws a variety of insects.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Its latest appreciator is this pretty Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), a familiar and common butterfly in this area. The name misrepresents its spot color, which is white not silver.

For a moment a honeybee vied with the skipper for this flower, but it soon left amicably and settled on the coneflower in back.

The bee bounces in at 7 seconds into this video.

We could use some rain, a lot of rain actually. Hope your garden is making you happy.

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. After weeks of hot, dry weather there finally were rain sprinkles on the Fourth of July just as everyone was getting excited about fireworks. The rain quickly moved on that evening, hurrying north toward town. Since then there have been several other showers, none bringing much precipitation.

Indifferent to the preceding, long dry spell, Cleome hassleriana has opened in the meditation circle and throughout portions of the borders. I gathered a dozen or more stems to feature in today’s vase.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) With Liatris

Some of the flowers come out white.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Companions include fresh cuttings of Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) along with several clusters of Hydrangea macrophylla left over from last week.

Sweet Pea, Hydrangea and Artemisia

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Soft silvery gray foliage of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) mixes into the soft gray-green band of glaze of the stoneware pitcher.

Hydrangea and Artemisia

Materials
Flowers
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Vase
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (pitcher and 4 cups, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977).

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens. Today’s vase is filled with a selection of old-fashioned flowers, all rescued from the heat on Saturday.

The starting point was a fading border of shasta daisies. The shastas were nice for a few weeks but now most are wilting in the hot sun. I have lost interest in keeping them deadheaded and watered, so picking the freshest blooms to enjoy indoors seemed a good idea.

To accompany the daisies I cut some stems of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower), whose yellow petals are just beginning to unfold this week.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I wish I had taken a picture at that stage. The Green-Headed Coneflower paired with the daisies made a winsome combination and I had planned to stop there. The arrangement ended up distinctly different though when I tested to see what would happen if I added some of the other flowers I had gathered, starting with Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers.’

The panicles of this oakleaf hydrangea sported quite a bit of red color this summer, but without enough rain they recently began to turn brown.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Other flowers added were small clusters of Hydrangea macrophylla, Liatris spicata (purchased as ‘Alba’ yet not white after all), and some under-performing calla lilies.

Shasta Daisy and Coneflower With Addition of Liatris, Calla Lily, and Hydrangea

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

The container for today’s arrangement is a cream-colored, crazed ceramic urn on which “Vintage 4” has been stamped. Why “4” is unclear but I like the vase’s shape.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Materials
Flowers
Calla Lily
Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
None
Vase
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

Wordless Wednesday—June On The Wane

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

In A Vase On Monday – Succession Of Three With Gladiolus

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

Along with a small sampling of recent summer blooms, two stems of white gladioli engaged my attention for several hours as I assembled and refashioned. When at last I declared myself done I had created three vases to share with you.

Vase One

Most of my time was spent on this first vase. My mind was set on having the draping Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ and spidery Cleome as a base for the gladioli. The small peony on the left is from last week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

Gladioli have been surprisingly robust this year in the garden, returning from bulbs planted in previous years. Of the duo used in today’s vase, one is very pure and white; the creamier other has purple anthers and a trace of color at the throat of each blossom.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

When I bought angelonia in early spring to line the paths of the meditation circle, I chose purple and white. One bicolor made its way into the flat.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’

Vase Two

The idea for the second vase was simply to give home to flowers that did not make it into the first—another gladiolus and several stems of garden phlox that began flowering this week. It was assembled in just a couple of minutes with a curving line of echinacea used to enliven the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

The echinacea is not one of the special hybrids but several of its flowers emerged with deep pink petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

This gladiolus is another with purple accents.

Gladiolus

The magenta of the phlox is a jarring color but its presence is strong.

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Vase Three

The third vase is a redesign of the first, with the bicolor angelonia and cleome shifted right, the darker purple ‘Angelface Blue’  brought together on the left and a soft, barely pink (almost white) hydrangea filling the space beneath the gladioli. I find this iteration the more successful of the two.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Grouping similar colors makes their impact cleaner and more direct.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Here are the two starring gladioli for comparison.

Gladiolus

One with the purple anthers…

Gladiolus with purple accents

…and the pure white one.

Gladiolus — pristinely white

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Materials

One
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Foliage: Gladiolus leaves
Container: Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders. 6 x 6 inches.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

Two
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)
Foliage: Gladiolus leaves
Container: Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

Three
Same as One, plus Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.