01 August, 2009

Monarch Butterfly and New Garden Flowers

Today was a clean up day; scrubbing all the dirt off the patio and off the pots the plants came in and general tidying up of the "stuff" left behind from the construction. Aside - the pots will go with us to Belize in a few weeks. Believe it or not, plastic plant pots are hard to come by in Belize and we want to start our seeds off in pots. We plan to get a lot of things started while we are there since we will be there in the wet season.

I hung the birdfeeder back up just a few hours ago and so far have seen chickadees, nuthatches, a chipping sparrow, and a male cardinal visit it. Poor birds have been without a feeder since May. I hung the feeder in a new spot that will be easy to fill come winter when there is snow on the ground. And it is now perfect for the cats to watch from the cat stand in front of the window in the den. Jazmin, our new cat who is strictly an indoor cat, has figured this out already. Plus, I can see it from my chair in the den, too. ;-)

I took some time out from cleaning to take some pictures. First up are a couple of a bedraggled Monarch butterfly on the coneflowers. If you click on the first shot below, you can see how the scales are worn off the wings.

But from below, the Monarch still looks robust and healthy.

Next up is a pretty fly (I will have to look it up to ID it), also on the coneflower. I like the slightly flawed symmetry of the first shot below.

From the side, you can see the tip of the yellow abdomen is black.

Now to some of the new flowers. Balloon flowers are new for me. I've wanted to try them for some time. I don't think they are especially good for attracting insects or hummingbirds, but I will enjoy looking at them. They last a long time and are very interesting to watch as the "balloons" swell until the petals peel apart to open the flower.

The toad lily flower is a little jewel. It is the one that looks waxy and orchid-like. It does attract insects, as do most of the other flowers I picked out.

The toad lily buds are handsome, too.

That is all that I have pictures for so far. It was a challenge to pick out things that can survive in zone 4 to 3, are deer resistant, and attract insects and/or hummingbirds, as well as meet the other size and shade tolerance requirements for this new garden area. We'll see how they survive the upcoming winter ...


  1. I've just bought a new plant for my garden Wilma; a Platycodon. It looks so much like your 'ballon flower.' Strange lol
    Those Monarch butterflies really are beautiful.

  2. Yes, the one I planted is Platycodon grandiflorus "Sentimental Blue" according to the tag in the pot. It has lots of unopened buds on it yet.


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