Saturday, August 26, 2017

The red and black ones

Almost every morning, when I sneak into the garden with my coffee before sitting down to work, a monarch greets me. The Joe Pye weed offers plenty of nectar. And at six feet tall is bordering on unruly. I need a meadow.

They visit the common milkweed in the vegetable plot, and seem very restless, rarely settling for long.

And yes, the distinctive milkweed bugs did arrive. I don't who told them there was milkweed, here. Oncopeltus fasciatus, apparently harmless, so I leave them be. This one is sitting on the pods of Asclepias incarnata, growing in a pot.

In September I will be cutting the common milkweed back, very carefully. Those stems also rose to five and six feet, and happen to be planted over the row of diminutive saffron crocus, whose flowers should be emerging in late autumn. I am not sure if being shaded by the milkweed all summer (when the saffron is dormant) will have hurt, or not. Last year they produced enough saffron for one pot of bouillabaisse, which I thought was quite exciting.

I might order more.


  1. Marie: Thanks for this posting.This summer was my first for raising Monarch butterflies in my home and releasing them throughout the season.We are currently raising what we believe to be the Fifth Generation, slated to make the migration south to Mexico. In this most challenging time of political turmoil, the nurturing of these magnificent creatures and trying to make an impact environmentally is a powerful salve for the despair we see around us. Again, thanks for the beauty in your garden.

    1. Hi Susan - how interesting. What a great project!

  2. Hi Marie,
    Those milkweed bugs are quite adorable,
    Just returned from a week on Lake Champlain, on the Vermont side in a very rural, agricultural area. The
    flowers and blooming shrubs were stunning. Hydrangeas growing to 8-9 feet tall, huge sunflowers and everything else. Will e-m you some pix.
    How's the book going?

    Cheers as always from
    a Mile High,
    Diane in Denver


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