A Pollinator Paradise

Rhonda Fleming Hayes is the author of Pollinator Friendly Gardening, and we were able to visit her Minneapolis garden on the first morning of the fling.

Monarch Butterflies Head South After a Disappointing Year

Since the middle of August Monarch Butterflies have been a steady presence in the front garden. There have been at least two fluttering around almost every day. This past Sunday there were three, passing through on their way south to Mexico.

Pesticide Progress for Pollinators?

A new study by the Pesticide Research Institute indicates that the presence of neonicotinoids has fallen by half in ornamental plants sold by major retailers. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide that is widely considered to be a major threat to the… Read More

Mid-August Blooms, Part 1

I had a happy reunion with the garden after Judy and I returned from our trip late Saturday afternoon. The first thing I noticed were bright swaths of yellow that seemed to dominate the area in front of the house. Yellow –… Read More

The Snows of March

Our recent March snowfall is trying to tell us something. What it is trying to tell us is this: there are too many damn rabbits in the garden.

Good News on Monarch Butterflies – For Now

So the numbers are out on the eastern Monarch population in Mexico for the winter of 2015-2016, and the news is good. The Monarchs roosting in pine forests occupied a total of 4.01 hectares (a little under 10 acres) this year, more… Read More

Bees and Butterflies Still Busy in the Garden

According to the website Monarch Watch, the peak for Monarch Butterfly abundance in Chicago should be roughly during the first half of September. However, in our garden the Monarchs seem to be on an expedited timetable. This year in July and August… Read More

A Pretty Good Weekend for Butterflies (ID Needed)

First of all, we now have not one, but two Monarch butterflies making multiple daily appearances. I’ve seen them flying close together, though perhaps one is pursuing the other. I’ve tried to advise them that they’re not getting any younger and they… Read More

Bees Love Borage

In the Herb/Cutting Bed, we’re growing Borage (Borago officinalis) for the first time. I decided to give it a try for the little blue flowers (I love blue flowers), but also because I’ve heard that it’s a great plant for bees. This… Read More

Don’t Give Up On Monarch Butterflies

For about a week there’s been a single Monarch Butterfly flying around our garden, and paying particular attention to the Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). After I got a fuzzy picture with my phone, Judy sat outside on the front steps waiting for… Read More