Start A Butterfly Garden!

by Bonsai 150 Replies latest jw friends

  • talesin

    Kaik, here's a pic of one huge bank of rhodes in our Public Gardens - it seems to have recovered from the winter of 2014/15. The people on the right side of the 'bush' give the picture scale. No flowers for a few weeks - we still have the occasional few cms of snow that doesn't stick.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Thanks for info Kaik, your problem sounds like it’s related to getting the rhodo established. (Neither bone dry nor waterlogged during the winter?) The chaste tree is uncommon here but will grow. I love Prague and the beautiful countryside in Bohemia. I have walked in the Sudeten lands and in places with names which are very forgettable if you don’t speak the language! I remember seeing large blue gentians in the mountains flowering at the feet of the red-berried mountain ash.

    Xanthippe, don’t forget to put your borage leaves in a jug of Pimms in the summer. It’s unusual to have cucumber flavoured leaves.

    Where do you live Talesin, looks like you enjoy (or is it endure) a cold winter?

    It is interesting to see the differences in climate from the posts in far-flung places. Here in UK (I’m in Oxfordshire, central south England) for the first time ever I’ve had to mow the grass twice during the winter; at the end of December and end of February...unprecedented! The daffs began flowering here in early Feb and have continued through to April.

    I managed to persuade a specimen of the florist’s Jasmine, the tender Chinese species Jasminum polyanthum to survive through the previous winter outdoors and last December it was ten feet ten feet tall and full of flower. Although I then wrapped it up well we had two successive nights of hard frost in Feb this year, which browned off many of the evergreen leaves...but it hasn’t died. The fragrance is delicious. I also managed to over-winter a large canna lily, alias ’Indian shot’ by putting it in my garden shed and protecting it from frost... just little things which keep us gardeners happy!

  • talesin

    Half banana, I live in Nova Scotia. We had a harsh winter in 2014/15. This year was more moderate, but always a late spring. Snow in April is not unusual, but also short-lived (gone in a couple of hours). The summers get hot, up to 90s, rare 3 digits, and last well into late September. Fall is lovely colours after the first frost, and mixed with surprisingly warm (20-25 DegC) days. It's moderate. We don't usually get snow till Xmas or shortly after. We can't grow tropical fruit outdoors, but most everything else (fruit trees, flowers, any root veg, the usual). : )

    PS. I've over-wintered the calla lily once, and the Xmas and Easter cacti, in a cool basement. haha, back in the days of home ownership. Indoor gardening has been enforced. This winter, my room mate and successfully kept our basil, and it's now flourishing and soon to be transplanted in a deeper vessel. The next place will have a yard or other outdoor spot. Downtown is nice, but I miss my outside morning coffee.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe, don’t forget to put your borage leaves in a jug of Pimms in the summer. It’s unusual to have cucumber flavoured leaves.

    Yes I've read that it tastes of cucumber. I don't know about Pimms, I'd rather have a beer. 🍺

  • Bonsai
    Xanthippe, I don't think Monardna bee balm is invasive. They will spread out in rich, moist soils. They have shallow roots so you can just rip out the ones you don't like and give them away if you want. Their red or purple flowers smell great and the butterflies and bees will flock to them. I tried growing them here, but the zone is too hot and humid so they succumb to mildew almost every time.
  • kaik

    Here in USA, we had warm December till middle of the January. We got blizzard at the end of the January and tons of snow. However, we did not experienced significant freeze as I had experienced in 2010. March was seasonably warm/cold, but I had two snaps of early morning freezing, which seems to take a toll on hydrangeas which were already budded out. Even encore azalea suffered from the snap, and they started to drop leaves. I have two types of azalea, one which is evergreen and others that shed leaves but their flowers are very fragrant.

    So far the big success were camellias which produced tons of flowers. I do not see my rhodos to bloom this year. I noticed in the past that they produce more flowers every other year. One year I will get couple buds, and then next year they will be all covered with flowers. The only enemy for rhodos and all other evergreens are squirrels and chipmunks because they like to build a den under them. I ordered climbing rose for my trellis as April is the best month to plant them. I have one rose that never looked good and my mom cut it down and rejuvenated it two years ago, but still it looks sick.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe, I don't think Monardna bee balm is invasive

    Oh good. I have a really invasive plant in my garden called Lamium Galeobdolon. The previous owners of my house planted it and in 19 years I haven't been able to get rid of it. It spreads underground by horizontal roots that look like tree branches and is hell to dig up. So I'm always cautious of new plants. According to the net it's been declared a noxious weed in parts of the U.S. Don't plant it, terrible stuff.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    We have lots of Monarchs here, especially if I take caterpillars inside in spring so that the wasps don't kill them. At this time of year I'm the bad guy and have to eradicate some to ensure the survival of my swan plants for spring.

    We have to be careful pruning and take any chrysalises inside to finish off. Hundreds of Monarchs have launched themselves from my finger for their first flight and they often swoop on me in the garden, I assume because they like the colors on my shirts. I have had an old one land on me and die, which I thought was pretty special.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Well, what a terrible surprise this morning. My beautiful tulips were all chewed off right under the heads!

    I'm guessing it was the squirrels.

    I've cut the last one and put it in a vase on my table. I should have done it earlier and I would've had a nice bouquet.

    Well, anyhow, it's nice to finally get outside in the sunshine today. The cat is climbing the pear tree to catch a bird. I can't wait to see his face when it flies away!

  • Bonsai

    Kaik, thanks for the report! I love azaleas, too. More importantly, the swallowtail butterflies love their flowers as well.

    Xanthippe, It may be a noxious weed, but as least the Lamiums's yellow flower heads look pretty cool! I have a noxious vine that is trying to take over my garden . It is called "hekusokazura" in Japanese. "he (pronounced 'hey')" means fart, "kuso" means poop, and "kazura" means vine, so it's called "fart poop vine". Touch the leaves and you can guess what awful smell it gives off. I'd rather be battling your invasive weed than mine!

    Black Sheep, Thank you for protecting the monarchs! Their survival is dependent on people like you! The fact that you would let an old one land and die on your shoulder says a lot about the kind of person you are. Such patience, compassion and mercy! Most people would just brush it off and let it fall to the ground where it would slowly die from a million ant bites. I, too have to limit the amount of caterpillars I let in my garden, otherwise all the hosts plants would quickly be exhausted and there would be no future generations of butterflies to look forward to.

    Grreat Teacher, sorry about the squirrels. If you can't beat them, run away from them! I moved to a region where they don't exist! Those damn weasels however! Grrr!

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