"It can be a fascinating game, noticing how any person with vitality and vigor will have a little splash of red in a costume, in a room, or in a garden..." ~ Edgar CayceWe haven't seen the first cool weather of fall as yet, but it seems as if a change is coming. Many of the plants are past their prime and looking a bit ragged. Of course it doesn't help that the Monarch and Black Swallowtail butterflies have gone into overdrive with laying eggs on the milkweed and fennel and now the parsley turned into a bunch of straight leafless sticks as did the milkweed.... overnight. I expect the fennel will be gone by morning. I have called the botanical garden and the butterfly society and it seems that this is a problem everywhere. I don't have enough to take care of the final group of Monarchs... those that have to migrate south. So, probably this morning I will gather the 30 or so Monarch caterpillars on what milkweed I have left and the Black Swallowtail on what is left of the fennel and take them to the botanical garden. They said I can release them in the outdoor butterfly garden... they have plenty of milkweed and Queen Anne's Lace to go around.
As for my coneflowers, they are in the process of winding down as well. So far the finch have shown no interest in the seedheads. At this point the white varieties and this bright red 'Hot Papaya' are still blooming and drawing the butterflies. Thank goodness I haven't found any local butterfly species that love to eat coneflowers!
Plans are in the works to clean up some of the chaos that is my flower bed. I am going to take up ALL the mint and plant it in a large container. Spearmint and peppermint plants really get out of hand fast and try to take over everything. One of the lessons learned. Love the mint, just want to keep it under control. It is time to dispense with the sunflowers... the seeds are ready for the birds.... if they will just take notice. And, I really need to get on with my plant journal as pruning season is here for several of the shrubs and I need to figure out how and when and get going.
But for today, this is one of my favorite (they are all my favorite actually) coneflowers.... the blazing fiery red 'Hot Papaya'. I think I must put a few of these out next to the preserve next summer!
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