Butterfly Gardening 2013
I probably should have posted on Molanic's thread, but I wanted to fill everyone in on my 2013 gardening antics.
I moved in with my DD in June last year. I brought some plants with me:
Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'
Salvia 'Hot Lips'
Salvia 'Lady in Red'
Buddleia 'Magenta Buzz Improved'
Passiflora 'Lavender Lady'
Planted some annuals like zinnias, gomphrena, red pentas, marigolds, Verbena bonariensis, Japanese Morning Glories (had lots of Pink-Spotted Hawkmoths enjoying these), Portulaca
I did purchase plants for an herb garden for my daughter, that included Thyme, Sage (culinary), Lavender 'Munstead', Rue, and a Centauria Montana Blue and a Silene I don't recall the name, with pink flowers. Of the two Rue plants, one died, so we were left with only one. I also planted a big 3 gallon container of parsley, both flat and curly leafed. With that minimal number of plants, we still had plenty of Black Swallowtails and Mama Giant Swallowtail kept coming back for egg-laying on the Rue. These were the biggest Giants I had ever seen. In fact, when I first saw her approaching the garden, I though she was an unusual, exotic bird species!
I also had a few Gulf Fritillaries on the Passion Vines. We had a lot of Yellows and Oranges in the fall. I had planted a Senna bicapsularis, and the Cloudless Sulphurs layed eggs on it. But we had numerous Clouded Sulphurs, Dogface, Little Yellows, and Cloudless.
For a first planting in June, some in July (yes, in the heat!), we had a lot of butterflies, which thrilled me and the kids. Charlotte, then 3 yo, loved watching the caterpillars and butterflies.
Also hung my first hummingbird feeder and had hummers a couple of days later. So, all in all, we had a great critter summer - including the toad who lived under the shrubs in the front yard.
Our yard is surrounded my grape vines, so hopefully we will see lots of sphinx moths there, like Pandoras, Eumorphas, Grape Vine, and Nessus, who all use them as host plants. We did have larvae on the Morning Glories(Pink-Spotted Hawk Moths) and tomatos (Manduca). Also, Walnut Sphinx on the pecans and Walnut trees. There are still a few shrubs I have yet to identify, and don't know if they are any kind of host for butterflies and/or moths yet.
The Hollies in the front yard tend to attract the Red Admirals in spring/early summer. Also had some kind of Aster bloom in very late fall that attracted the Sulphurs In droves. I thought it was Willow at first because the growth and foliage resembled Willow. The blooms are very pale pink.
Anyway, it was a very busy summer with trying to get everything planted and taken care of, and I sure missed being on the forums with you guys!