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, Virginia, which happens to be the wealthiest county in the nation.

Meadow at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Some people would prefer a golf course.

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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 can’t be a vine.

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A Shady Garden in August

So let’s take a look at the Back Garden in mid-August. Summer is a quiet time in a shade garden, but there are still a few things worth noting.


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This Year’s Summer Containers for Sun

This has been a pretty good summer, if not a great one, for our flowering containers in the sunny front garden. I feel like we’ve developed a style and a palette of plants we can keep going back to. At the same time, there are always lessons to learn – particularly those taught by stretches of very hot, dry weather.


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A New Wren Family in the Birdhouse

So we have more wren babies in one of our birdhouses, this time the blue one near the west hedge of the Back Garden. Earlier today Judy was watching and taking pictures as the parents frantically tried to keep the nestlings fed.



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Random Notes From The Front Garden

Aside from the Jolly Yellow Giants, there are a few other goings on in the Front Garden.


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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.

Cup Plant with Wild Bergamot and a bit of Ironweed in the foreground.

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A Summer Picnic for Pollinators

There was a lot of buzzing in the garden the other day, buzzing and fluttering. So I decided I would do a little pollinator post. Judy was out of town, though, so these pics are not be up to her usual quality.

Most of the Butterflyweed is done flowering, but there’s still a bit here and there, plus there’s lots of Swamp Milkweed.

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Prairie in the City: West Ridge Nature Preserve

On Sunday, Judy and I met our son Daniel for lunch. Afterwards, we crossed the street to visit the 24-acre West Ridge Nature Preserve. Judy and I had been here in February last year, but there wasn’t much plant life to observe at the time. This was a chance to see what was going on mid-summer.

Entrance to the West Ridge Nature Preserve on Western Avenue

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