With the weather forecasters (weather.com and NOAA sites) predicting snow arriving within 11 hours, this image of my perennial garden of several years ago should be the medicine we need. I included that slide with my others, not quite sure how wingedbeauty would integrate it into a blog featuring butterflies and wildflowers…. It’s clear now that this image, showing a really good year in the flower beds, the broad push to fill our U.S. gardens with monarch-friendly flowers…and the critical cabin fever that is now gripping northeastern states, all signal that this is a good time to think…lush garden.
This was (we moved ⅓ mile down the street in ’12) our perennial garden, in our back yard. The garden flanking the north side of the house was a handsome hosta garden, and the front of the house offered a sizable garden with columbine, daylilies, pentestomen, iris, daffodils (early, mid, late), tulips, dogwoods (2 cherokee red), lipstick-red impatiens, and more.
So, what do we see in this photo of the perennial beds? Your eye probably went first to the solid bed of bee balm (monarda of several types) left of center (ruby throateds every hour on the hour). Next to that, in the center of the photo we see phlox (swallowtails and ruby throateds) and crocosima (lucifer-a huge attractor of ruby throateds). Next to them, and to their left, black and purple salvia (ruby throateds love them) and purple aster hybrids (several species of butterflies appreciate this late summer/fall nectarer). Lower right in the garden you see a good sized stand of shasta daisy (painted ladies, monarchs and red admirals). Almost hidden and to the right of the daisies peek out maraschino salvia (ruby throateds and swallowtails). In the rear right, just before the neighboring garage are buddleia (purple- monarchs, tiger swallowtails, orange sulphurs, skippers and more). There too, are anise hyssop, beloved by honeybees and swallowtails, and ladies and admirals and skippers. In the rear, slightly left of center, are a pair of crape myrtle, they only moderately interesting to butterflies it seems, but we first saw them in Washington, DC and that was that. Rear left are a trio of oak leaf hydrangeas…not much of a butterfly magnet, but handsome and pleasing to the eye, and a good anchor to the garden vista.
What did we miss? Oh yes, in the front right corner, against the flagstone path our prairie fire was just taking hold. OMG! how ruby throateds LOVE these southwestern perennials. Difficult to see are some of our other perennials, including liatris (swallowtails), irises (we love them) and the potted perennials. The rose garden, outlined by belgian block (cobblestones as they are known in NYC) was first on the list when the garden was planned.
It was a delicious garden. We moved, and just weeks away, our new garden will awake, and the deliveries will arrive of saliva, and asclepias syriaca….Brevity, Jeff. I’ll put the brakes on here. But that’s the point, so soon the winter will break, and millions of us will get back into our gardens…and when those butterflies fly again, we’ll be ready for them, with a menu that they will register from great distances, beckoning, monarchs and all other butterflies…come and get it.