Thursday, August 21, 2008

Look what I found today! Caterpillars on my butterfly weed. I was so excited. Now I wonder what butterfly they will become?

This butterfly weed is one that I started indoors from seed. Several of them lived after I transplanted them in to the garden, but this is the only one that bloomed this year. I am hoping they survive the winter and come back strong next year. Just in case, I plan to start more next spring.

I have had a lot of 'painted ladies' in the gardens this year. They seem to love the giant zinnias as well as the butterfly bush. Definitely going to plant more zinnias next year. I started most of them indoors, but did direct sow some. They all grew at about the same rate. I am thinking of starting a few for containers and just sowing the rest directly in the gardens. That way I will have more room to start other plants inside.

The sum and substance hosta has put up flower scapes tall enough to be seen from behind the cone flowers. This is the first year they have really done well. The plants are about 4 years old and they are finally living up to their description of being huge.

This area of the garden is still looking very pretty and I am pleased that it is lasting. A lot of the other areas are looking piteous(not sure if that is a real word, but it describes the areas well!)

Does anyone know what this plant is? When I finally noticed it wasn't a flower, I thought corn stalk. But no...

... this is a corn stalk. And yes, it is growing next to the house. It may be Indian Corn from some fall decorations last year. The squirrels found the corn and there went my decorations. It will be fun to see what the ear looks like when ripe-if I get to it before the squirrels.
Have a happy gardening week end!


Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie.....I am not an expert on your butterflies but is that one of the swallowtails, I think I have seen one on another blog. I do hope so how amazing will that be....Sherry will be able to tell you......

Lots of colour in the garden and the zinnias are so giving.....I can understand why you want to plant them again next good for me, the rabbits eat them for the last two years.....

I love the corn, what fun.....can't help you with the mystery plant though......

Have a fun weekend.......

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Beckie, I don't know what kind of caterpillars you have. I will have to look at our butterfly weed to see if we have any visitors.

Your garden looks so lively with all those zinnias. I want to get some going next summer.

That corn beside your house is a hoot. Those squirrels can be so destructive but I kinda like to find their little surprise plantings around the garden.

Anonymous said...

Yay for caterpillars! I have some too, it's so cool to see them on the butterfly weed & milkweed, isn't it? I love all your zinnias, I am definitely self-sowing some in the garden next spring.

Meems said...

Hi Beckie,
So glad you enjoyed having your girls. It is difficult when they leave I know. The house seems so empty again. I just had all three of my grandkids in some sort of combinations for 12 straight days... it was a great way to end their summer break.

Those rascally squirrels do cause some trouble don't they? It would be funny if you ended up getting your indian corn back.

Your Zinnias and coneflowers and hostas are giving you lots of flowers and keeping your garden bright and cheery!

This was the first year I have EVER planted zinnias. Before this I thought of them as childhood flowers that were too common. They have proven to be winners here like yours and I will never be without them again. As a matter of fact I started some from seed two weeks ago and they are already growing ... I'll plant them in the ground in September for some fall color.
Have a great day!

Oh... the caterpillar looks like a monarch to me.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie, my Indian corn ended up as squirrel chow too. How do they always find these things?

I'm admiring your zinnias and vowing to plant some next year. I like the big ones and they are hard to find.

Wendy said...

Hi Beckie,
Love the bright yellows, pinks and oranges of your flowers. Too bad about the squirrels eating your corn. We have chipmunks munching my cherry tomatoes. I went out yesterday morning to check and see if they were getting ripe (only about 5 were left on the plants) - and surprise! All gone!
Ah well - it's off to the farmer's market to buy fresh tomatoes.
Have a great weekend too!

Susie said...

Beckie, I don't have a clue what that plant is; interesting looking though. I'm excited for you having caterpillars. Hopefully, you'll have lots of them.

Looks like your garden is still doing well. Your blooms look pretty!

joey said...

Always a caretaker (children, grandchildren & garden), Beckie ... a beautiful part of your charm. Your life is beautiful! (((hugs))))

beckie said...

Cheryl, Thanks for the ID. The zinnias have done great this year and I am so pleased I want to plant lots next year. Try putting them in containers where the rabbits can't get to. I know you said your Dad was loving his-does he nothave rabbits? I couldn't believe I had corn growing right next to the house! Don't know how I coild have missed it for so long. By the time I saw it it was getting tall and I just decided the girls and I needed to see what developed. Hope your weekend is great too!

beckie said...

Lisa, you are the reason I planted zinnias this year. You showed us your cutting garden and I loved the zinnias, but now I can't bring myself to cut them. :) The squirrels can dig up bulbs and I swear replant them elsewhere for eating later and then yo wonder how that plant got there. I knew when I put the corn out they would probably take it-at least they left me the colored cobs. And they always end up eating my pumpkins and gourds. That's okay because I enjoy watching them.

PG, I was really excited when I saw them. Amazing what little things like the caterpillars can do for one's mood. Would you tell me what kind of milk weed you plant? Surely it isn't the weed we have here that is called milkweed.

Meems, how wonderful to have grandkids for that long. They can be tiring, but I always think I can rest later. I know they all had a grand time with you.
I will keep all posted on the corn. I hadn't planted zinnias in years, thinking much the same as you. Then I saw them on Lisa's blog and thought how pretty. And they are. They are keeping many spots in my garden bright now that other flowers are fading. More next year for sure! How great you can still start some from seed and have them mature before winter.:)

beckie said...

Marnie, they must have a nose for corn or pumpkins or gourds! I wired mine to the front deck- they ate the corn but left me the colored cobs. I found most of my seed at Wal Mart. They had several varieties of the big ones including cactus. As I remember I got them pretty early and kept them til it was time to start them inside. I am trying to save some seed and if successful will send you some. Just remind me-I am so forgetful!

Wendy, I do have a lot of different colors right now. I don't think a garden designer would approve, but I like it. Chipmonks used to eat out regular tomatoes or at least take bites out of them and let the bugs get in. I guess we should be resigned to sharing with nature. :)

Susie, I guess we will see what the mysery plant does as it matures. How are you guys doing? And how long do they take to become butterflies? The garden look good only in spots. I have a lot of trimming to do. But it's going to wait until the weather cools off a lot more.

Joey, thanks!! But I think I pale in comparision to you when it comes to caretaking. Afterall, I'm sure I know who did all the looking after at the lake this summer. But we do it with and out of love don't we? Take care dear Joey.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I don't even bother buying Indian Corn anymore. The squirrels strip it clean in a day. They get enough peanuts from the neighbors, so they don't need the extra food, the pigs. I can't tell what your mystery plant is. Can you post a photo of the foliage?

Rose said...

Your painted lady is the same butterfly that has been floating around my house:) I'm so happy, too, with the zinnias this year; I can't think why I haven't planted any for so long. Now you've got me thinking I need to walk down the lane to check out my butterfly weed and see if I have any caterpillars, too!

Susie said...

Beckie, I'm not sure how long it takes before the caterpillar decides to become a butterfly. Mine ate several days before I noticed the cocoons. I still have one cocoon left. Seems like I read somewhere that how many sunny days you have can determine when they come out. With all the rain we are receiving this one little guy may decide he likes it better in the

Tricia said...

I believe your caterpillar might be a Monarch. I looked up images on a search engine "monarch caterpillar" and the caterpillars looked quite similar to the two you pictured here. Good for you if they are!

Your milkweed is a lovely color! Actually your whole garden seems to be quite colorful and looks quite nice.

I have no idea what your mystery plant is. It looks odd. Are those hard little balls on it? Like seed pods or small crabapple type balls? It's not like anything I've seen before!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I planted milkweed and butterfly weed to attract the monarch, but so far I haven't seen any.

I had to catch up on some of your posts that I missed. I'm glad you had fun with your girls at the Indy zoo.

Mountain Mama said...

Your flowers are gorgeous. I love Zinnia's but didn't have any this year. One more to add to my list for next year. That lise is growing fast as I visit blogs and see all the lovely color.
I don't know what the mystery plant is. I've never seen one around here. Maybe if you take a picture to a local nursery they can identify it for you. Too bad there isn't an online place that does that.
I don't know what kind of catapillars those are. Sure look interesting though.

Mountain Mama said...

Your flowers are gorgeous. I love Zinnia's but didn't have any this year. One more to add to my list for next year. That lise is growing fast as I visit blogs and see all the lovely color.
I don't know what the mystery plant is. I've never seen one around here. Maybe if you take a picture to a local nursery they can identify it for you. Too bad there isn't an online place that does that.
I don't know what kind of catapillars those are. Sure look interesting though.

Gail said...

Wonderful find! I would welcome a good caterpillar to the Butterfly Weed! Instead there are ugly Milkweed Bugs all over it, yikes! I treated them to a relocation and it wasn't a different plant, let's just say they were dispatched!

I love Zinnias too...they are a perfect flower, pretty, easy and they attract wild life!

Squirrels are so naughty but not nearly as distructive as the chipmunks have been! They love the limestone walls! Bad rodents!