Category: Wildflowers

Larval food plants for great spangled fritillary and common buckeye butterflies

A great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele) and a common buckeye (Junonia coenia) were seen in my garden in the fall of 2017. September 22 for the great spangled fritillary. October 19 for the common buckeye.   October 19 was also a day when clusters… Continue Reading “Larval food plants for great spangled fritillary and common buckeye butterflies”

Home-grown monarchs and milkweed

Home-grown monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). In 2015, a monarch visited my garden on September 18. In 2016, monarchs passed through on September 13 and September 20. Last summer, in 2017, monarchs were present in my garden pretty regularly from September 13 to October 28.… Continue Reading “Home-grown monarchs and milkweed”

Persephone months

Eliot Coleman calls the period of time when days are less than 10 hours long from sunrise to sunset the Persephone months. In his Maine winter garden, this is when vegetables under cover will be available for harvest, although they do not grow. The… Continue Reading “Persephone months”

Ladies’ day out in my garden

Painted ladies (Vanessa cardui), that is. Painted ladies are sometimes referred to as cosmopolitans because their range is nearly worldwide. They are not resident in New Jersey, but they often migrate to this region from the deserts of northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.… Continue Reading “Ladies’ day out in my garden”

A new garden plan for Fortex green pole beans

Pole bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Fortex green pole beans have been my favorite green bean for many years now. I’m not inclined to try bush beans (again) or to experiment with new varieties of pole beans. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the… Continue Reading “A new garden plan for Fortex green pole beans”

Weed report 2016

Weed report for 2016. Lovely photo above of crocus blooming on March 11, when you would think that the garden is weed-free, at least visibly so, but just look in the upper righthand corner. Creeping Charlie. In March. At least it isn’t growing. This… Continue Reading “Weed report 2016”

Wild Senna and Sulphur caterpillars

Wild senna (Senna hebecarpa). Something has been eating my wild senna (Senna hebecarpa) plant. Above are photos of the same wild senna first taken on October 7, when its compound, even-pinnate leaves with 10-20 leaflets (this description from the NRCS Plant Fact Sheet) were… Continue Reading “Wild Senna and Sulphur caterpillars”

What are monarch butterflies doing in my garden

Monarch (Danaus plexippus). What are monarch butterflies doing in my garden. No, I don’t mean what right do they have to be in my garden. I mean, literally, what is it that they are doing. We all know monarchs are migratory. Adult monarchs from… Continue Reading “What are monarch butterflies doing in my garden”

Great spangled fritillary: new butterfly in garden

Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele). Just look at this great spangled fritillary, the first I’ve seen in my garden. Wow. NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club website reports that females emerge later than males and are usually larger and darker. Great spangled fritillaries average 3 inches,… Continue Reading “Great spangled fritillary: new butterfly in garden”

Common blue violets–wildflowers or weeds

Common blue violets (Viola papilionacea) are wildflowers or weeds, depending on your perspective. In the introduction to William Robinson’s┬áThe Wild Garden, Expanded Edition, Rick Darke distinguishes wildflowers from weeds by writing that wildflowers are usually perceived as pretty and innocuous. Wildflowers do no harm… Continue Reading “Common blue violets–wildflowers or weeds”