Wednesday, July 20

Swallowtails... Plural!!!

I got to see a newly emerged black swallowtail on Monday morning! I somehow noticed him right before I got into my car for work, so I stopped to take a moment and admire. His wings were already fairly dry so he must have emerged before the night... but he was resting on the bronze fennel just below this, his former home:

I love the way the chrysalis looks hanging off of the gutter. I can't decide whether it looks more like a bat, all wrapped up for a daytime nap but hanging the wrong way... or some kind of cool masthead for a ship. Either way, it's very fun. (And I'm grateful that someone, FINALLY, has found the bronze fennel!  *grumble*)

Edited to add:  Better yet, he seems to have  spread the word about the fennel!  Check out who I am now happily, unapologetically stalking:

Updates (I hope!) to come...  :)

Need Instant Height In Your Garden? Plant...

... a giraffe.  Isn't he cute?

He seems to be resisting the urge to eat through his surrounds so far, which is good. Must be that hollow belly...

Monday, July 4

Independence... from My Front Lawn!

I can barely keep my eyes open as I type this, so (for once) my post should be short & sweet.  This weekend, we ended up tearing out the 3ft. strip of grass that remained between my front yard garden and my sidewalk.  (Because, as Steve said in regards to what little grass I had kept there: "Really... why?")  In its place, I planted an entire flat of 'Salsa Burgundy' annual salvia, 2 rather large 'Hameln' pennisetums (to match a third), 2 baby lady's mantle, and various pieces of 'Dragon's Blood' and another similar red-leaf sedum. 

Here are the "after" shots:

Well, "after" the planting, but before the mulching. Steve tore out the majority of the grass while I was ripping out  the rest of the golden marjoram from around the purple ninebark and freeing the two pennisetums that were to be moved.  In place of the marjoram and grasses, I FINALLY planted those 3 'So Sweet' hostas, a 'Black & Blue' salvia, and half a flat of scented snapdragons.

I also repotted a giant sago palm, added some more string trellising for my cukes and spaghetti squash, moved my plumeria to a larger container with a few annuals surrounding it, and assembled my 'Blue Daze' evolvulus, 'Silver Cascade' dusty miller, chartreuse coleus and hot pink celosia into a container planting. Oh, and I fertilized my tomatoes, too--which should be an easy job, except that my Gardening Assistant finds Tomato Tone to be disgustingly appetizing. So any application of Tomato Tone must immediately be followed by a fresh application of mulch to hide the apparently delicious fertilizer!

More pictures of all of the above to follow... but now, it's time for some sleep.  :)