A New Life

I went out to check on the Monarch chrysalis and could barely locate it.  The jade green was gone and a thin transparent shell was left.  A new life had taken flight.

Jade and Gold Chrysalis

The Monarch caterpillars have begun to make their chrysalises.  I found this one while cleaning out a garden bed. The chrysalis looked like a jade bead that a jeweler decorated with drops of gold.

The camera could not capture the gold color shimmering in the sun that my eye saw.  Nature can certainly be an inspiration for art.

Caterpillar Relocation

The Monarch caterpillars are doing so well that they ate all the leaves from some of the Butterfly Weed plants.  I gently collected these big fat ones for relocation.

The caterpillar got right to work munching on the new leaves.  Having too many Monarch caterpillars is definitely a good sign for the population.

Got Kids? Try a Pet Plant

Do you remember Tamagotchi, a virtual pet that kids carried around and had to care for it? Well, how about a Pet Plant?  I was a volunteer at the elementary school’s Garden Club and this was one of our projects.  It would be a great time to start a Pet Plant and it is fun for kids and adults.

Most of the items to make it are probably already in you home.  Start with a small bottle such as the cookie sprinkles one I used here. Plastic is best for kids.

Add something that will stay wet like a cotton ball or wadded up paper towel.

If you would like to wear it, tie on a long string (use your judgement for your child) or just carry it from place to place as you move around.

Lima beans are the classic seeds, but use whatever kind of seed you may have. Make sure it stays damp and watch your Pet Plant grow.

Give it a name.

As your Pet Plant gets big, take off the lid and eventually plant it in soil.

*Of course, seed germination is a great science project.

Close Is Not Close Enough

My philosophy in the Automatic Garden is to get plants to reproduce on their own either by seed or roots.  I have been trying to get Bartram’s Oenothera grandiflora Evening Primrose to naturalize for years.   I have been sowing the seeds in four different locations hoping for some success.

The Evening Primrose has finally started some plants by seed. Instead of doing it in the perfectly fine garden bed, all the seeds germinated in the grass close to the bed.  I was glad I spotted the plants before the mower got to them.  They have been transplanted, but the Evening Primroses would have a better chance if they did not have to be moved.



A Spring Day

Today is a beautiful Spring day and some new flowers decided to open.  The Amaryllis that I got at a plant exchange put up two stalks and all four flowers opened at the same time.

This Iris was found in a mulch delivery many years ago.

These big bees are everywhere.  I haven’t been able to photograph them, but there are Robins singing in the trees.  They are probably refueling for their trip north.  The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds have arrived.

Happily, the next generation of Monarch butterflies are in the making.

I’ve had several Monarch butterflies floating around the garden.  This one seems a bit beat up.  Maybe it made the flight from Mexico.  Can you see the caterpillar on the leaf?

I hope you can find some beauty in your day.

Confederate Rose Trimming

My Confederate Rose had a fabulous year.  Unfortunately, it became overgrown and started to lean forward shading ten feet of the yard.

This Spring the time came to cut it back to its boundaries. It was difficult to do, but if the Confederate Rose was left to grow at that size, it might have tipped over and pulled out the roots.

I left the upright stems and took cuttings as a precaution in case I needed to start all over again.