Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 2010: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Having been away from home for what seems like most of the summer, I was really looking forward to getting home on Friday to see what my garden has been up to.

Just about everything that was in bloom in July is still blooming now (please see My July Gardens for photos). Things look almost the same, only a little more 'floppy' and messy since they've gotten taller and it's rained on and off, through the heat and dry spells.

Some plants that were not yet in bloom or have gotten much fuller are the Japanese Anenome:

(butterflies really seem to enjoy this):

as well as the Verbena bonariensis--which have all developed from last years plants that have re-seeded:

(butterflies are attracted to the Verbena, as well):

*I'm not certain of the identity of these small ones--perhaps fritillaries or skippers. If you want to talk with a knowledgeable butterfly-expert, Randy of Randy & Meg's Garden Paradise is the one to talk to. I don't think there is a single one he can't identify!

Some of my Liriope are now in bloom, (although I'm still waiting on the variegated ones.  I plan to dig these green ones out eventually):

The lone Cardinal Flower that I planted has finally come into bloom:

and the late-summer-blooming Heliopsis scabra 'Summer Sun' is out:

Anise Hyssop (Agastache) seems to be the plant that has taken off every where I've planted it...the front, side and back yards:

It is loaded with Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and other butterflies:

and did I mention the Agastache?!

Oh, and the Swallowtails...Sorry that I seem to keep repeating myself here!

Black Form of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (only 1 row of dots)...Black Swallowtail butterfly has 2 rows with a second row above the blue coloring.

After our week in Maine, I came back to see if any of the Black Swallowtail caterpillars had formed pupas. (I had to move all of the pots into the garden where the sprinkler could give them some water while we were away).

I had put netting around the parsley so that the cats would be protected. I hoped they would be able to crawl out and attach themselves to things and pupate. (My previous post and the one before that chronicles the development of the cats).

After doing a thorough search, I found just this one chrysalis. (I'm hoping there were more and I just missed them):

I took the netting down when we went on our next trip, as there were no more cats and they had eaten all of the parsley. After being gone another two weeks in Europe, the pupa was empty when I got home:

So I'm left to wonder which of the Swallowtails fluttering around my yard came from that pupa!There are large numbers of each variety of swallowtails in my garden...(Black Swallowtails, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, and Spicebush Swallowtails)--although I couldn't find anything to photograph for this post other than the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, both yellow and black forms. But I know the Black Swallowtails are out there somewhere! (Just not in these pictures!).

LASTLY, on to the cucumbers--which produced a few more fruits during the two weeks we were away:

...please pardon the color quality on the following photos; it doesn't effect the flavor at all:-)

And one more thing: did I mention there are TONS of Swallowtail butterflies hanging out here?!

(Sorry--I couldn't help myself).

I don't know why it has taken the cosmos so long to start to do anything. They were planted months ago!

And Why On Earth is my Azalea blooming? It's a spring-only bloomer. The humid weather must have confused it! This has never happened before--this bush has been here for at least ten years!

Plants currently blooming but not shown in photos:

Coreopsis 'Limerick Ruby'
Coreopsis tickseed 'Rising Sun'
Salvia greggi 'Flame' and 'Wild Thing'
Salvia 'May Night'
Salvia 'Mystic Spires'
Lavendar - several varieties
Buddleia - several varieties
Heliopsis scabra 'Summer Sun'
Veronica 'Icicle'
Veronica 'Royal Candles'
Potentilla 'Melton Fire'
Carpet roses, Pink and Red
Black Eyed Susan
Gaura - Pink and White
Shasta Daisies
Phlox - several varieties (Pink and Purple)
Zinnia - several varieties and colors
Coneflowers (ALL, except Coconut Lime)
Blanket Flower
...and MORE

*FIVE varieties of Asclepias (Milkweed) have been growing but as yet, NONE are in bloom! Not sure what the problem is. Obedient Plant is growing but is still not blooming--I think it's overdue.

To view beautiful gardens around the world, visit Carol's May Dreams Gardens every month on the 15th.

Today I am thankful for more butterflies in my garden than I can count (but I am trying!).

Words and photos ©Thanks For Today, by Jan Huston Doble


  1. welcome back! Lovely blooms that are butterfly magnets.

  2. I hope your garden was in order after your trip. You must be a dedicated blogger to put together a post after being away for so long. Have a good GBBD.

  3. Your butterflies are wonderful, Jan. Similar to your reblooming azalea, I have an early mid-season daylily that has never before rebloomed that has sent up new scapes and is blooming again. I assume something about the weather conditions has caused this. -Jean

  4. How nice to have all of this activity in your gardens. I love them all.

  5. So many beautiful butterflies! Do they also migrate as they do here in India?

  6. oh my gosh - you can't get a photo with a few butterflies trying to steal the scene!

    I should check my azaleas too - strange time of year for bloom!

  7. Wow, your garden has been flourishing while you were away. Lots and lots of lovely blooms ... the Agastache and Verbena are so lovely! What an amazing number of butterflies too! Great photos.

  8. Jan - We share a lot of the same blooms in the garden. Your butterfly photos are amazing. The swallowtails ate all my giant parsley, too. My daughter and I just chose to believe all our butterflies came from there. Once, she counted 27 of them on the plant at once. We saw very few pupas, too, but have tons of butterflies, so I guess they were somewhere! Glad you enjoyed your trip - looked like tons of fun. Happy GBBD.

  9. Love all your flowers--and so far you're the only one besides me showing veggies, but heck, they ere flowers once. I'm definitely getting some annise hyssop next year. Verbena bonariensis is a fave--I love how it jumps around where it wants to be, and that's perfect in my garden.

  10. Oh, you have butterflies, I didn't notice at first, LOL.

    I am so impressed, you have created such a butterfly haven there. Amazing, how a little care, and customizing can reap such beautiful fluttering rewards.

    Your garden is lovely, I adore the Verbena Bonasensis. It used to grow wild in the gravel at the nursery. Looked so pretty, the grey,and the purple.

    Nice to be back?

    And thank you for all of your kind words.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  11. If this is what happens in your garden from not being home, you should stay away more often! Impressive!!! Lovely harvest, and the butterflies outnumber the human residents, I'm sure! Good grief! Beautiful photos, Jan!

  12. Hi Jan, Those are Skippers in the first photos of verbena B. ... Randy would know exactly which kind. My you do have many Swallowtails... I can just imagine the magic of standing there and having so many dancing around you. Beautiful booms and flutterby photos. Pupa too ... Lovely!

  13. Oh Dear! Not booms... blooms! ;>)

  14. What a lovely post. How blessed you are to have so many beautiful blooms and butterflies. I'm still waiting for butterflies in my gardens... to my dismay there aren't so many this year. Thank you so much for adding me to your FAN list. After my lovely visit here, I think I'll match you on that and then go one more. I'll be back!

  15. Lovely blooms, Jan, but even lovelier butterflies! This has certainly been a banner year for butterflies. We had the first cool morning today in weeks, and I went out to weed for a little while, but got so distracted by all the butterflies around that I put down my tools and got my camera instead:)

  16. You were blessed to be welcomed by such beauty and a butterfly Heaven, Jan. Welcome home!

  17. So many blooms...just love it !
    You sure have the right flowers for all your lovely butterflies.
    Think that is some kind of skipper.
    Your post is a reminder of how many flowers I don't have.
    Miss having Verbena.

  18. Good grief Jan, I don't know how you do it. So many swallowtails! Maybe I need to plant more parsley? :P

  19. We've noticed here that it is really an exceptional year for sheer numbers when it comes to butterflies... looking at you post, I see that you have no shortage either... L

  20. It's been a great year for swallowtails for us in central Virginia, but I haven't noticed as many in northern Virginia. I think they're all at your house ;-)

  21. Amazing photos of your butterflies! I have a lot of Swallowtails now and many Marine Blues are showing up too. I look forward to following your wonderful blog.


  22. Thanks, Jan, for visitng my blog and becoming a follower. This, in turn, has led me to yours and I am happy to reciprocate.

    How lucky you are to have so many extraordinary and beautiful butterflies! In England, Swallowtails are the rarest of all our butterflies and are, I believe, only found in one very small area. I've never seen one, sadly. Our swallowtails are different to yours - most like your Eastern Tiger.

    Because our summer this year has been hotter and drier than most it has been a great butterfly year in England too.


  23. Hi Jan. Girl the summer is just flying by and I am ready to start spring over. LOL!I hate to see it getting so close to fall. Your August blooms are so pretty with all of the butterflies on them.I love the anemones. I am always looking for new ones to add to the shade garden. Hope this summer has treated you well despite the heat that has seemed to be getting to everyone. You and yours stay well friend too.

  24. So pretty. I love all the butterfly pictures. They certainly have a good friend in you with your netting strung out for them.
    How fun to see the azalea blooming in a second round!

  25. Hi Jan - I love your butterfly pictures and their names. I've been taking butterfly pics also and it is so nice to have their identification. Just lovely!

  26. Hi Jan, I'm glad you're back home safe and sound and I hope you had a nice trip.

    I've never seen this many butterflies in my garden. Ever. Bees yes but butterflies remain somewhat elusive. Your photos are definitely brag worthy, girl!!

  27. Thank you for sharing your beautiful butterflies. I have a couple of kinds of swallowtails and think myself lucky - you have so many I've never seen before.

  28. Jan - thanks for sharing all the butterflies! What an amazing variety.. :)

  29. Wow - those butterflies are beautiful! I can't believe how many you have and the photography is fantastic. With every new bloom a new visitor is invited to the garden. lovely!

  30. It certainly seems being away from your garden hasn't hurt all your lovely blossoms. I bet it truly looks alive with activity with all the flutter-bys sipping on all that nectar. Welcome home!

  31. I hope that you have had a relaxing and enjoyable summer, Jan.
    Your garden still looks wonderful! Mine is drooping from the lack of rain and summer heat.

    I was just wondering, have had any swallowtails in your garden this summer? ;-) Just teasing! It has been so nice to see such a healthy population of butterflies this year. Last year I only saw about five all summer.


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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