Sunday Garden Miscellany
Psychologists have determined that there are three kinds of personalities: those who are motivated by their own sense of what is right, those who seek the approval of other people, and those who seek the approval of caterpillars. I am in the third group.
In fact, I have been suffering from a terrible sense of rejection because, while I have a great variety of butterfly host plants, I have seen very few caterpillars. I do see butterflies, but it seems that while our garden is an amusing sort of place to feed on nectar, it is not a worthy home for butterfly offspring. This made me feel as if I had committed some kind of embarrassing butterfly faux pas.
Just recently this has begun to change. In the last week Judy and I have seen Black Swallowtail caterpillars – first on the Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), then on the Parsley (Petroselinum crispum). This has led to an enormous boost in my self-esteem.
In fact, just this afternoon I saw a Black Swallowtail laying eggs on the parsley. This made me happy, though it meant that Judy had to go buy parsley at the store despite the fact that we have a vast quantity of it in the garden. I just couldn’t be sure where the butterfly eggs were, and we didn’t want to cook and eat them inadvertently.
Surely now when the other butterflies see that the Black Swallowtails consider us to be all right, they will all begin to come around and start laying eggs on our plants.
Transplanting in August is a Bad Idea
It’s just that we had a stretch of cool weather last weekend, the soil had been turned moist by a long, slow rain – and I thought, why not?
So I transplanted three ‘Snow Swan’ Peonies from the back garden, where they were in too much shade, to the Parkway Bed. Of course, the weather immediately turned very hot. All three peonies fainted dead away, despite my efforts to hand water them.
I also transplanted three struggling ‘Honorine Jobert’ Japanese Anemone, all of whom had a similar reaction.
The thing is that I know better, I really do. It’s just that I get impatient. Once I think of a thing to do in the garden, I want to do it right away (unless that thing is weeding). Actually, I’m confident all the transplantees will come back in spring, but they could have had a gentler introduction to their new homes.
Partridge Peas Porridge Hot.
The first of my orders for fall planting has arrived – a packet of Partridge Pea (Cassia fasciculata – which apparently we are now supposed to call Chamaecrist fasciculata). This is a native self-sowing annual with yellow flowers that is a host plant for several butterfly species (see first item above).
I plan to direct sow them in a couple of sunny spots once the weather turns cool.
Hoping you all had an enjoyable weekend.