Almost Fruitless

I keep trying and failing to have lots of autumn berries in the garden. Berries are good to have, in theory, because they attract birds and provide ornamental interest in fall and winter.

Our Last Monarch

By which I mean, the last Monarch we raised indoors and then released out in the garden. Now that the southward migration has begun, I don’t expect to find any more Monarch eggs or caterpillars.

Pollinators, Known and Unknown, in the Late Summer Garden

Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of pollinators in the garden. Here’s a collection of some I saw recently. Some are old friends, while certain others and I have never been properly introduced to others. Help with ID would… Read More

Goldfinches, the Vegan Birds

Our Cup Plants (Silphium perfoliatum) are full of Goldfinches these days. Goldfinches love Cup Plant seeds. Also Echinacea seeds, Sunflower (Helianthus) seeds, and Thistle seed, among others. But of those 4, I only have Cup Plants.

Hummingbirds: Tiny, Feisty, and Fun to Watch

We’re seeing hummingbirds with greater frequency around the garden. I suppose they are getting ready for their migration to southern Mexico and Central America, where they spend the winter.

First White Turtlehead Blooms

So not every bloom in the garden is yellow. For instance, I’ve got a single White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) blooming in the Front Island Bed. This is my second effort to grow White Turtlehead, and I hope this time it settles in… Read More

Monarch on Mexican Sunflower

My favorite butterfly on my favorite annual flower. That’s all.

Turf War

About 10 days ago the Washington Post had an article about a fight over one couple’s right to maintain a meadow on their property, which sits within a subdivision consisting of large homes on very large lots. This is in Loudon County,… Read More

Milkweed Surprise

So my friend and coworker Joanna was telling me about how excited she was to be finding Monarch butterfly eggs on what she called a “milkweed vine” in her backyard. That’s great, I told her authoritatively, but if it’s a milkweed it… Read More

The Jolly Yellow Giants

Some say that Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), or any perennial that can top 10 feet in height, is unsuitable for a small suburban garden. I disagree.