Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Butterfly Garden is Coming Along... Slowly

Making the Butterfly Garden is turning out to be a lengthier process than I originally expected.  I didn't get any milkweed in, which was the main thing I wanted for Monarchs.  Part of that is my fault; I have the seeds, but didn't know they needed to chill over the winter, or be tricked into thinking they are chilled by winter, to germinate well.

Since I didn't plant them after a killing frost (that last in the spring-the first in the fall frost that gets all your plants and helps Edward the Goldendoodle's allergies), I would have had to fool the seeds into thinking it's been winter.

"Cold stratification" is the recommended process.  You put the seeds in the refrigerator for about a month, in a damp paper towel and plastic bag.  Check them now and again to see if they are growing, if so, they are ready to plant.

Since I didn't do that, no milkweed... so no Monarch larvae for me this year.

But, I have planted some new butterfly attractant plants, and many of the seeds sown May 23rd have sprouted.

Yarrow: a yellow variety called Moonshine.  I have never bought it before, and didn't realize what a truly beautiful lacy plant it is!  I planted seeds of a white yarrow, but, boy howdy, plants are so much more gratifying!  I may never see my seeds grow this well.

Beebalm or Monarda: This one is Panorama (or Panorama Red Shades, I am not sure if Red Shades is part of its name or just what color Panorama is).  Not such a pretty plant, but pollinators will love it. 

Lavender: Not really a butterfly garden plant (it prefers drier, less fertile soil), but the blossoms do draw pollinators, and I've been looking for a short variety of white lavender.  This is Ellegance Snow (yes, that's the way it's spelled!), which only grows 12" to 15"!  I bought three of them (only $2.99 each)!  One of the others will be in the rock garden proper, the last probably in a planter on the deck.  They make good additions to rock gardens, but I hadn't planned for a lavender in mine. 

Here's what they look like planted. 

The seeds planted two weeks ago are up.  I don't remember which is which or where what is, so they will be a surprise!

I had another seed surprise.  Back in early spring I planted some tomato seeds in little pots (Blue Chocolate from You Grow Girl).  They never grew due to the weather being cold, then warm, then cold and wet, wet, wet.  I just took the little pots, stirred the soil up and planted some butterfly and rock garden seeds.  I thought they were up, and some are, but mostly what I have are tomatoes!  Surprise!  As you can see, there are also the other seeds sprouted
with the tomatoes.  Penstemon or purple cone flower, I think. 

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