What's New With Everyone?

moonwolf_gwSeptember 17, 2011

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been around lately. Life's been pretty busy lately (long story) but gardening has been keeping me hanging in there, with getting new houseplant cuttings this week and last week and some seeds awhile back . Not sure how much trading I'll be doing this year (as a newbie last year, it was a complete blast!), but I do have some containers saved already :).

This evening, I saw a hummingbird moth on my ironweed. What a pretty plant! I'm definitely saving seeds off of it!

I have a Monarch chrysalis I found (found 5 cats on my tropical milkweed) and keeping inside until it hatches. It's still green but I hope it gets on it's way soon.

How is everyone and their gardens doing? Has anyone made up their seed wish lists yet? I have mine started but I need to jot down more ideas ;).

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Good to see you back. I have 7 blackswallowtail cats myself right now. The cats themselves are beautiful and HUNGRY. I had a large pot of flatleaf parsley which they devoured in no time. Can't wait to see the butterflies in the spring.

Folks should start putting together want lists so we can try to fill them. Let us know what you need.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Thank you, bakemom!

Congrats on the black swallowtail cats! I planted parsley but I didn't notice any caterpillars eating it. I must not have planted enough of it.

Here are some of the seeds I'm looking for:

Joe-Pye Weed
Milkweeds (all types)
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Balloon Flower

I'm still adding to my list but these are a few I can name off the top of my head.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:18PM
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I have a bunch of swallowtail cats now, too, Bakemom - re-sited one that was eating my parsley to my big bronze fennel plant, where the rest of his buddies were - I need my parsley for pesto!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Hi Brad,

So you're a young/old WS pro going into year 2, right? I sure wish I could say I'm more organized with this year's seed harvest but I'd be lying if I made that claim. One exciting thing that's "new" on my little green acre is that the hardscaping in La Musardiere is finished. There's 1,440 lbs of granite in front of the bench:

Several dozen WS perennials are just waiting to get planted where the edges of the bed curve away either side of the bench. I planted a dwarf fountain grass at each end of the bench for contrast in texture. There are already a dozen mature peonies, 30 clumps of daylilies, sedum, Russian sage, rose of Sharon, Echinacea & some ancient bleeding heart growing behind it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:50AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I've got several seeds from your wish list already packaged up to send to Bakemom. I'm drooling over your Ironweed. Will you be collecting seeds from it? And if so, will you be trading? That's the one plant I've been coveting each time I drive along the highway and see that rare flash of deep purple.

I've got 12 BST cats--Make that 10. Two are now chrysalises. I don't find them nearly as hungry as the Monarchs. And I have noted that mine ignore the parsley and only touch the fennel and dill. Even when I put parsley in the containers, they only ate fennel and dill.

I'm seriously considering a major garden overhaul this year. I've been letting things self seed for several years, because the butterflies prefer seedlings for laying eggs. And I was letting the garden fill in and mature. But, now things have gotten even more disorganized than even I appreciate. So, I'm thinking of tearing out many established plants in order to replant things in a more organized fashion. That being said, it looks like it might be a busy wintersowing season for me. Oh, darn! Can you tell how sad that makes me? :) Good luck to everyone!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Gardenweed, yep that's the best way to describe me! I love the garden bench! It will look spectactular when all the perennials are planted around it!

Martha, I'm going to try to collect the seeds/seedheads off of my ironweed. Just was outside and a Monarch was perched on some of the flowers :). I will be trading this year with other members (and I will be participating in this year's Zone Wars too) but just figuring out when to send out seeds to people is the hard part. Just waiting to get seeds now, then I need to stock up on baggies and Post-It notes.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:49PM
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I love it, too, gardenweed. Nice job. I saw just one cat and don't know what it was, think it not Monarch or ST so let it be.

Got a lot of spots cleaned out, my dianthus planted (probably too close together), dug out some roses that weren't doing anything, collected some pin oak leaves from the neighbor's trash and stashed them, figured out I'd peg my roses in the hopes of getting better displays and more satisfaction out of them, stuff I've pulled up piled up in 3 places, used stuff with no seeds in it for temporary mulch.

Decided what to do with my tree stump. Put hosta all around it, then set containers in season and put my ws'ing out of season hoping it will drain better. Will full sun hurt it?

Also, does anybody know if I can root some rosemary from the fresh herbs you can buy at the store? I don't know if I like it but like the looks of it. Yes, I want to make pesto, too, but will use lots of basil and parsley, will use a recipe I found. Hope I saved it. I don't have a food processor so have to chop and snip.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:59PM
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Since we're on the subject of butterflies, I found this Monarch (I think it's a female) eclosing on a pot of WS forget-me-nots this afternoon. She is still there!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:03PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well, as for plants, I've been collecting seed - Salvia 'Lady in Red', 'Coral Nymph', and 'Yvonnes', Bronze fennel, and a few others.

Just got a big order from Bluestone last week, back-ordered and replacement plants, and they look great! Added them to the pot ghetto, which consists of mostly winter-sown plants, and need to figure out where to plant all this stuff.

Glad to hear everybody's enjoying the butterflies! This summer I got completely absorbed in raising butterflies - I've released over 100 Monarchs with about 20 more chrysalises, about 10 Black Swallowtails with 2 chrysalises that are going to over-winter, and 1 Spicebush Swallowtail with 7 chrysalises that look like they're going to over winter.

And my spring-sown and direct-sown annuals have done spectacularly this year! Here's a pic taken 3 days ago -

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Hi Brad, good to hear from you. I'm at school. I got alot of essays to write. I've found a lot of caterpillar in my garden yesterday. Not sure if they are Swallowtail or not.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 7:30PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Hi Brad, nice to see you.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:21AM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

You all get me so excited w/ all this butterfly talk :) I'm hoping next year is THE year that I'll have all my butterfly attracting flowers in the garden bed and blooming.

LOVE that bench gardenweed!

Terrene your flowers are gorgeous!! I'll be doing my first big zinnia bed this year. Seeing yours motivates me even more. :) What is the super tall orange flower to the right of the zinnia bed? Is the small yellow flowers in front of the zinnias melampodium?

I've been digging things out all week and re-designing the main beds and pond feature. All the more excuses for more items to WS! *wink wink*

Brad, I'll be posting this year's Winter Seed Swap in early to mid October. I hope you all join in, it's a wonderful way to get those wish lists filled!

~Wendy / sassyb

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 2:34PM
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Thanks Wendy! I'm really excited about WS more butterfly attracting perennials again this year that I can plant near my bench where they'll get full sun. The bench faces a curved free-form bed I specifically designed 4+ years ago to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. A couple of weeks ago I brought the southern edge of it out another 2 ft. to accommodate the most recent bunch of WS perennials I grew this year and wanted to add to what's already planted there.

I've been busy harvesting seeds from the plants I WS the past couple of years so my seed inventory is growing by leaps & bounds. If anyone wants Joe Pye Weed seeds, the neighbor next door has a gorgeous plant and I can harvest as many seeds as it produces.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:00PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Gardenweed, your bench garden looks like it's coming along beautifully! Do you have any butterfly host plants in your butterfly garden?

Wendy, the tall orange flowers next to the Zinnias are Tithonia rotundifolia, Mexican Sunflower. It is a fabulous nectar plant for butterflies, bees, and even the hummers nectar on it regularly. The yellow flowers are indeed Melampodium. I love those - they are actually a Florida native and attract lots of little bees. So easy to collect seed too, and they self-sow a bit too. There is actually some tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) mixed in with the Melampodium but I cut most of them for the Monarch caterpillars.

Whenever I look at these colorful flowers, I feel more cheerful. Most of the annuals were "spring-sown" - technically not winter-sown because I sow them in early April in cups, and the Zinnias were direct-sown.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:07AM
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Wendy, I'm hoping I can be able to join in on the Winter Seed Swap!

Ladyrose, congrats on the caterpillars!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:27AM
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terrene - I have lots of butterfly attracting perennials in the butterfly bed but when I designed it, I was still (and still am) a novice so I can't say for sure there are host plants in it. So far there's buddleia, peony, hibiscus, meadow sage, rudbeckia, globeflower, stokesia, penstemon, gaillardia, dianthus, hardy geranium, ornamental grasses, Shasta daisy, magnolia, Echinacea and several others I can't recall just at the moment. When I designed it, my only thought was attracting butterflies. I didn't know about host plants and providing them with food at the time.

I've started adding cardinal flower and other hummingbird nectar plants to several beds on my little green acre but am still only beginning to realize what I need to grow for the butterflies & hummers to help them thrive, not just so they'll vist.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:03PM
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