If you grow Milkweeds to attract Monarch Butterflies, do you ever wonder why some plants get lots of Monarch eggs and caterpillars while others are ignored? This is the question, more or less, that some scientists tried to address with research published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
I have a lot of admiration for writer and landscape designer Benjamin Vogt. His blog, newsletter, and other writings make very useful reading for anyone interested in the intersection between gardening and ecology.
The Left Bank is what I call the part of our garden that sits west of the driveway. It consists of 4 parts: 1) The Lamppost Bed in the parkway; 2) the Crabapple Bed under the dripline (more or less) of the the ‘Donald Wyman’ Crabapple; 3) the area between the Crabapple Bed and the …
If I were to sum up the current state of the front garden in 2 words, they would be: Bee Balm. Bee Balm, Bee Balm, Bee Balm. Specifically, Monarda didyma ‘Raspberry Wine’. The Bee Balm is so visually dominant in part because so many other attention-grabbing plants are blooming late.
Monarch Butterflies need Milkweeds (Asclepias sp.), right? Because Monarchs lay their eggs on Milkweeds and only Milkweeds. But when it comes to attracting and supporting Monarchs, are some Milkweeds better than others?
Today is New Year’s Day. While a patchy blanket of snow lies on the ground outside, it seems a good moment to look through some favorite photos of our garden in summer.
As the days get shorter, flowers become scarcer and the garden fills with seedheads.
So Judy and I just raised our first Monarch butterflies to adulthood. We were nervous about trying, but then we read that only about 5% of Monarch caterpillars in the wild make it to adulthood. We figured we could do better than that.
Changes in the garden accelerate as we reach mid-summer. Every few days seems to bring something new. Let’s take an overview of the state of the Front Garden.
We believe strongly in doing our bit to help the Monarch butterfly, whose migrating population has declined about 90% in recent decades (you can read more about saving the Monarchs here). And so we have lots of Milkweed (Asclepias spp.), which is the only genus of host plants for Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars.