The weather has been ideal for gardening this week and I have put in a few hours each day and nearly all day on Thursday. There are so many tasks that need attention that no matter which one I set out to do, I am finding it hard not to become distracted and end up working on something else.
I have been planting seeds, bulbs, perennials and dahlias. I must have really craved color and flowers this winter, but it is hard to know where I imagined I could plant everything I ordered.
As part of my “Friday reflections” I wrote and then deleted paragraphs about weeds, bermuda grass infestations, yellow jacket nests. Sharing the positive highlights of the garden is more exciting.
This week I have seen butterflies: monarch, black swallowtail, and a pearl crescent (every day). None was interested in posing for me or even getting close so the image quality is poor, but I want to post them here as a record.
I was pleased to see a Bumble Bee checking out the ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe.
A green anole sunned on the back garage steps and scurried just for a moment each time I passed, before settling back into its sunny spot.
More irises opened and others are close. This is one my garden blogger friend from Petals and Wings (now mostly on instagram) sent me last fall. I’m not sure if they will bloom this year but they are growing and look healthy. The variegated foliage caught my attention and the flower is purple/blue.
Many of my Iris tectorum have disappeared in the past couple years, so I am especially happy to welcome this one back.
Another iris of note, this one is one of the only ones I have actually purchased.
Hope you are having a wonderful week in and out of the garden.
Yes! I feel the same and need to look up Pearl Crescents. I thought I wa seeing Metalmarks here. Iris are gorgeous.
iNaturalist is helpful. I rely on it (up to a point–it’s not always right) and am going to record all my butterfly and moth observations this year. I’d like to see a metalmark.
I got laughed off of iNaturalist trying to ID bees. There is a Florida Butterfly group on Facebook and I have several butterfly gardening friends I rely on. I will try to get a shot of the Metalmark. they have loved the Mystic Spires Salvia.
I admire your gorgeous columbine, Susie. I have quite a few varieties, but not A. canadensis. Must rectify that!
Thanks Eliza, and I should try some other columbines. They’re beautiful but A. canadensis is so rambunctious in the garden I haven’t ventured to add another.
Would you like to do a seed exchange? Mine will be ready for harvest around July… I have around 5 varieties, 3 double Barlows (dk blue, red, pk/white), a yellow Colorado, and several lavender and pink Granny’s Bonnets. Happy to share!
Yes, that would be fun. I will try to collect some seeds (first time on columbine). Thanks.
Great! I’ll make sure to set some aside for you and we can exchange addresses via private email when they are ready.
It’s a beautiful day in your neighborhood while we had a Nor’easter blow in with snow. It was like a late April Foods Day joke. 🙂 I like your visitors – handsome, each and every one.
Oh, Judy, some prank, huh? We’ve been nearly ninety some days week before last, but recently the days were just great. It’s already very dry here though. Garden visitors are always a treat and I hope to even have some human ones back this summer. Take care.
Lovely! I love the native columbine, especially as a tall “see-through” plant like and with verbena bonariensis. I’m curious as to why your Iris tectorum has been disappearing over the past couple years. Any theories? It is doing very well for me in both shade and sun; wondered if there is anything I need to watch out for. I love the circular symmetry of the leaf pattern as it grows and expands as opposed to the random haphazard growth pattern of bearded iris rhizomes. But, that does make it much harder to reduce its size when it gets bigger than I wanted. Wish I could figure out how to share some of it without spoiling that symmetry.
Thanks! I am not sure about the iris. I’ve had a terrible problem with voles and rabbits but wouldn’t think either would bother the rabbits. I did lose a tree also but as you say, sun or shade usually suits them.
I am having the same gardening experience. I go from one task to another and then find more. I love your columbine, as only color that grows well here is yellow. The garden center is packed with interesting plants and I bought two plants that I don’t have a place for, but stopped myself from buying more. Happy gardening!
Two plants sounds very restrained to me Judy! Hope you’ll enjoy them.
Nice shots. I am jealous of all your butterflies. Here we have seen only very few so far, mostly Mourning Cloaks. Our Columbine have put out leaves but flowers are a long way off.
I don’t usually see many butterflies this early so I’m very happy. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention before. Columbine is a nice plant. It’s evergreen here pretty much.
I think most of the butterflies I’ve seen thus far here (other than in the botanic garden’s butterfly pavilion) are cloudless sulphurs and painted ladies. It’s interesting that your eastern columbine has the same coloration as the western variety, Aquilegia formosa. For some reason, I’ve never tried it in my current garden but I think I should.
Some butterfly enthusiasts I’m following are seeing lots a different kinds of butterflies, including sulphurs and painted ladies. When I see one they’re out in special locations and reporting back dozens of that species. Your columbine looks similar but perhaps shorter spurs? If I’m successful saving seeds for Eliza, I will send you some too if you’re interested.
Your blooms are all so lovely and I love that the butterflies have arrived! Your garden calls to them.
Thanks. It’s been a nice long spring so far. It is nice to see butterflies already. It makes me happy.
‘Raspberry Blush’ is pretty rad. When we were in school, my colleague and I wanted a pink bearded iris because neither of us had grown one before. We saw it on campus, and ‘borrowed’ it after it finished blooming because we knew it would get discarded anyway. Yes, it was naughty. Somehow though, when they grew and bloomed later, they were all purple or yellow, with none of the pink. We never even saw purple or yellow! We can not explain what happened, but we deserved what we got.
Butterflies! Now that’s exciting! You’re way ahead of us now. We had summer weather for about a week in March, and cool 40s and 50s since then. So many plants are ready to burst, but it’s not quite warm enough. Thanks for the preview!
We’re back in the 50s today Beth. I’m actually enjoying the cooler spring days. It gives me a chance to appreciate each thing instead of everything rushing to open at once. The butterflies are a treat but they will like it warmer!
It’s lovely to see your wildlife and I assume it’s very warm as these creatures only show up when the temperatures go up. You have some gorgeous flowers and the iris foliage looks fab. Around here it’s difficult to keep the slugs at bay, a bit easier though this year as we’re already having the first drought of the year. Have a nice Sunday x
Hi Annette. It’s been exciting to see a few butterflies. We had extremely hot days a few weeks ago, but now it’s cooler (57F today). It’s been a nice long spring. Rain or slugs is a difficult trade-off. Hope there’s balance in there somehow. Take good care.
The iris tectorum is really lovely and reminded me immediately of the iris fields I visited in Japan. 😃 I don’t know what species they were, but there were masses of them growing wild next to flooded rice fields. I took loads of photos of them but that was before digital cameras!