Tag Archives: ‘Blue Sky’ Salvia

Butterfly Journal For 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Butterfly sightings have dwindled significantly. Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 7 observations (6 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 579 (30 species).

Butterfly Sightings 10/08/2021 –  10/14/2021

10/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/13/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
10/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
10/14/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

We had one satisfying rain a week ago, just following my last report’s lament on how dry it had been. (It came Friday, October 8 and well into Saturday.) Then a series of days marked by heavy, portending gray clouds gave way to clear blue skies without producing rain.

There have been few photo opportunities this week. Precipitation brought a sigh of relief and optimism, but did not bring out butterflies here.  Plenty of flowers for them to feed on are still available should they arrive.

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

My dahlias are double or semi-double which are not as easy for insects to feed upon as single dahlias would be, but zinnias and lantana are plentiful. (I ordered several singles but they didn’t survive.)

Lantana and Zinnias

I spotted one little hairstreak this week resting atop my passalong chrysanthemums, which are full of buds.

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Last year I saw an occasional butterfly into mid-November so I am hopeful the 2021 list will expand by a few more entries.

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

Wordless Wednesday – Deep Color In Late June

Virgie’s Rose

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Bumblebee (Bombas) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Between Morning Showers In Early June

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

A series of light showers this morning were welcome after the previous two days of temperatures in low 90s. Gardenias are fully awake today; a few more red lilies shout their presence.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

American Goldfinches keep us entertained. Today I watched one floating from flower to flower on Blue Sky salvia, the slender stems arching gracefully downward with the bird’s weight, then popping upward, the goldfinch having moved on to the next flower effortlessly, like an acrobat on a trapeze .

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

I do not have an adequate camera to film birds but you may be able to see four goldfinches sitting atop sturdy stalks of echinacea in the meditation circle yesterday. All too soon one signals, “let’s go.”

Verbena bonariensis is going to seed and needs to be trimmed back. The finches love it at this stage so I will leave it a while longer.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Among the signs of early summer in the garden are this lusciously deep, purple gladiolus just coming into bloom.

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ embraces the hot weather.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

From the back porch I spied a black swallowtail, I think, on this bush. I searched later but the butterfly had moved on.

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Video: Salvia uliginosa (Bog Sage)

This year Salvia uliginosa (Bog Sage) has been taking over a large portion of the northern border. I have had my eye on it and planning its demise, but yesterday I changed my mind.

The sun at early morning was just beginning to filter inside the garden. Air was cool.

There was a stirring breeze. With chimes singing behind me in the meditation circle and a little bird calling and calling, the salvia’s sky blue flowers danced before me and made me smile.

Thought I would share a video from the moment. Hope it might give you a smile as well. Turn up the sound and you may be able to hear peaceful contentment.

MidAugust Blooms

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Echinacea have been a mainstay this summer, drawing bees, hummingbirds and American Goldfinches to the borders. The blooms on this white one, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, really improved after the recent rains.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

By design I have a lot fewer Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in the garden this year, both of which were becoming rather aggressive spreaders.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

The sap of Tradescantia lately is causing me to have an itchy skin contact rash. For that reason and because I want to control its spread, I tried not to allow it to bloom at all this year, but a few sneaky flowers remind me why I have enjoyed it for so many years.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

I have simply grown tired of Shasta daisy after letting it roam for a lot of years.  One entire bed was taken over by this plant, so I still have a lot of work to do to tame it.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) are pairing up in a lovely color combination. This salvia also spreads freely but I have finally learned to be ruthless in pulling it out when it wanders too far.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is finally blooming again encouraged by the recent rains.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

This passalong everlasting Sweet Pea looked miserable most of the summer but, like the Black and Blue salvia, it was rejuvenated by the rainfall.  I planted annual sweet peas seeds this year but none survived.

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

The bird feeder is always a source of entertainment and occasionally the birds plant a few flowers for themselves. I am not sure exactly what this volunteer is but it is cheerful enough.

Birdfeeder Volunteer

Birdfeeder Volunteer

For the first time in many years my Stargazer Dahlia, did not return, done in by the cold winter I suppose. It was a passalong from a friend and former neighbor and so I missed not seeing it this year.  In spring though I had picked up a dinner plate Dahlia bulb, packed in a fairly generic-looking box, but labelled to have come from The Netherlands.

Dinner Plate Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dinner Plate Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Well the dahlia has finally bloomed. Granted I selected a poor spot for it, but I do not think it will  reach the promised “up to eighteen blooms per plant.” Neither does the size nor color correspond to the package at all. The flower is beautiful though and I am happy to have another dahlia for the garden.

Dahlia

Dahlia