Thursday, August 16, 2012

Butterfly Garden

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed
My garden and I are in the summer doldrums as the beautiful cottage-garden perennials die back, droop, and fade. I really thought I had little to show for Bloom Day, until I attempted to gather a bouquet for the tea table, and found more blooms than I expected: obedient plant, purple cone flower, shasta daisy, zinnia and black-eyed-Susan -- enough to make a cheerful centerpiece. My daughter arrived to pick up my grandson who stayed with us for a few days. He is my baking buddy and he insisted we make a 'tea party for Mommy'.

Flowers for the Tea Table

As my daughter and I stroll around the shade garden, we notice the heuchera are still in bloom.

Heuchera 'Coral Bells'
There are several signs of the changing season. The Chinese lanterns are turning orange and there are buds on sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and Physalis alkekengi, Chinese lantern
In the cottage garden, Cleome is going to seed but there are a few lovely blooms still.

Cleome hassleriana
My climbing rose, 'Iceberg,' hasn't quite given up yet.

The pond is still pretty with waterlilies. And on the bank of the pond a succulent of unknown (to me) species has pretty white flowers.

One of the stonecrops?
Sunflowers tower over the kitchen garden, where the tomatoes have finally started to ripen.

And everywhere there are butterflies; I don't know all their names.

Swallowtail butterfly on budlehia
Common Buckeye

Pearl Crescent?

Painted Lady
Tiger Swallowtail
While budlehia is certainly a butterfly magnet, the most important butterfly plant in the garden has to be milkweed. I have five or six milkweed plants constantly covered with monarchs and other pollinators. As well as the monarch in my lead picture, I am showing some bees on milkweed also ...

I look forward to seeing the next generation of monarch butterflies feeding on my milkweed, as it is the host plant for the monarch caterpillar. Milkweed is a signature plant for me. Diana at Elephants Eye challenges us to choose a 'must have' plant each month; milkweed is my choice for August. I am also linking to Carol's blog, May Dreams Gardens, for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

I look forward to visiting those two wonderful blogs to see what is blooming in other parts of the world. I hope to see you there.

Finally, I must show you a picture of a less-welcomed visitor to my garden. Black bears are common in the Poconos, but this is the first time I saw one so close to my house. He climbed the catalapa tree in the shade garden. The picture is a bit blurry because I took it through the screen in the den window.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (a bit late)!

Pamela x

Victoria Sandwich - a tea-time treat.

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