Category Archives: Floral Gardening

Monarch Note Cards

In a short time, our Monarch raising season 2018 will be over and we’ll miss seeing the beauties in the gardens. I’ll miss grabbing my camera to capture them!

Here is a sampling of the Monarch note cards I’ve made by matting my photos and attaching them to 5 x 7 inch note cards. The colors are spectacular!

Inside I stamp a sentiment such as “Happy Birthday!”, “Thinking of you”, “Praying for you”, and “Celebrate Life!”

Each is unique and each honors a special butterfly that we raised this Summer.

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How My Garden Blooms

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Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. ~ Walt Whitman

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Cicero

 

 

Danaus Plexippus — The Monarch

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The Monarch may be the most recognized butterfly in North America, and maybe in the world!

Three years ago we began to plant milkweed, the host plant for the adult female Monarch to lay eggs and for the caterpillar to feed on the leaves.

This year our nationally registered Monarch Waystation 17014 was the home to many eggs, caterpillars and nectaring Monarchs.

The slideshow presents a few of the Monarchs we released with a “Godspeed” as we watched them catch a high wind on their migratory journey to Mexico.

We enjoyed involving our gardening friends, a teen neighbor girl, and classrooms of third graders, helping them to learn more about Monarchs and establishing their own habitats to protect them.

Did you know only about 2% of all Monarch caterpillars survive in the “wild” to become a butterfly? The entire process takes only about one month. Predators are wasps, lizards, praying mantises, birds, and more.

Monarchs matter! To learn more, please visit http://www.monarchwatch.org

Lantana Camara

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Lantana Camara is one of the varieties in the Lantana family, a flowering plant that attracts both butterflies and pollinators. 

Here it’s blooming amid the lavender hosta blooms. My favorite time to capture blooms is right after a morning rain shower and before I melt with the high heat and humidity!

 

Hello, Black Swallowtails!

Our butterfly garden has been abuzz lately with the hot temperatures and high humidity this Spring. These Black Swallowtails spent some time nectaring on the Butterfly Weed before they flew to their next snack stop. These are common in the Midwest and the Swallowtail caterpillars are usually found on plants in the parsley family (fennel and parsley are favorite host plants). The butterflies look for nectar-providing flowers.

Getting Ready for the Monarchs

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Roxie and I are excited to begin our 2018 butterfly gardens!

Our new book “The Monarch” by Kylee Baumle is just packed with information about the Monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis stage, and the eclosing of the beautiful Monarch! (This book is available on Amazon.com   I’m recommending the book as a personal user and do not receive any compensation for my recommendation.) 

Help save the pollinators and butterflies! Create your own special garden either in containers or in the ground by using a variety of milkweed plants and native host and nectar plants in your growing area!

Find more information at http://www.monarchwatch.org

Visit your nearest botanical garden(s) for information on butterfly and pollinator gardening.

Orchid Mania 2018

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The 2018 Orchid Mania display of hundreds of species of orchids is spectacular each year at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I always enjoy leisurely browsing and finding new surprises as I visit and take photos of unusual orchids! The display ends March 25 this year, so go soon if you can! The colors and the natural light are good medicine for the soul and body on a dark winter day!

 

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Pure Paper Whites

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Paper Whites (narcissus) are such a fresh, pure, surprise in the winter when the bulbs sprout their greenery and then their buds burst into these delicate blooms! Seeing them reminds me of the HOPE of Spring.

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Amaryllis in Full Bloom

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The Candy Floss amaryllis bloomed its heart out with multiple flowers on two different stems, and amazingly these lasted for our enjoyment for 10 days! They were spectacular!

My Candy Floss Amaryllis Series

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Fritillaries

Fritillaries visited our butterfly garden en masse this summer, perhaps due to the southerly winds from Hurricane Harvey.

My Butterfly Garden

The bumblebees have found my purple coneflowers! I’m still waiting patiently for the Monarchs to arrive. I’ve spotted one Tiger Swallowtail so far.

The “blanket flowers” and butterfly weed and many more plants that attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and yellow finches are just waiting for visitors! I think our cool, wet Spring has affected the pollinators and butterflies so far. So I’ll keep watching!

 

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Alstromerias in Pink

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Alstromerias

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Flowers make me happy, especially in the bleak winter days when the sun doesn’t shine for weeks on end!

Alstromerias can be found in a variety of colors in our local florists’ shops and gardening stores. These are a bright spot on a January day!

Lined Up

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Where did Summer go?

The watering cans, well-used, gave drinks to so many flowers and veggies

planted on our deck.

Now we’ve picked our last cherry tomatoes,

watered the impatiens and petunias for the last times,

and prepare to winterize soon.

But not too soon.

Please.

Give us more beautiful Autumn days to sprinkle thirsty flowers,

though spindly and fading,

just to enjoy the task.

Monarchs Have Migrated to Mexico

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This is the last Monarch to visit our butterfly garden in 2016. We enjoyed each and every one that we saw, and thank God for His creation and their beauty! The monarchs enjoyed our butterfly weed, milkweed plants, and butterfly bushes (this one is named “Ruby”) as well as the zinnias and impatiens blooming here.

Read more about Monarchs and their migration here and on other sites that you find when searching Google for “monarchs” and “migration.”

Remember to save your flower seeds and plant in the early spring to help make your environment more butterfly friendly!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160314-monarchs-mexico-endangered-rare-butterflies-animals/

Anticipating the Monarchs

When you plant milkweed and coneflowers, the monarchs WILL come!

If I were a butterfly or a bee, I’d like to live here.

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Happy Hostas

Rain has been abundant this spring and summer. The fauna and flora in our area are all very happy. The best watering comes from heavenly watering, a wise gardener once told me. Better than any spigot and garden hose.

Hosta blooms captured with my macro lens right after an early morning rain:

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Rhododendron Beauty

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Fresh. Delicate. Ethereal.

This is just one of the hundreds of Spring blooms in our gardens.

I can’t get enough of this beauty. Simply awesome to see and inhale.