One of my favorite plants is William Bartram’s Evening Primrose (Oenothera grandiflora). I purchased the original seeds at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. The instructions said they were difficult to germinate, so I was thrilled when I was able to grow them.
Unfortunately over the past few years, the rabbits have taken to eating them or just biting the stems in half. This year, I was determined to grow some Primrose to replenish my seed supply. I managed to get six plants to grow in pots and elevated them in a tall planter.
It worked and the Evening Primroses bloomed. Soon I will be able to collect seeds for next year.
Early one morning, this Texas Star Hibiscus caught my eye. It was partially opened and the sun was shining through the green star making it look like stained glass.
Unfortunately, the view from human eye always looks better than a photo and the glow is not quite captured.
Before long, the flower opened separating the green star. Nature has an endless variety of beautiful designs.
The Hedychium coccineums, otherwise known as Disney Gingers, are dazzling this year.
The Gingers are blooming a little earlier this season, due to rain and an early Spring.
The Disney Gingers have really multiplied this year and have very robust flowers. Quite a few haven’t bloomed yet, so the show will be extended for weeks.
A different Shrimp plant bloomed in the garden this year. It has fuller flowers than the others and different coloration.
Growing nearby is this Shrimp Cocktail variety
and this typical one that is shrimp-like in color.
In an adjacent bed is a red Shrimp plant.
Is the new one a result of cross-pollination, a virus that causes variegation or one I just forgot I planted?
I did search and haven’t found a Shrimp plant that looked like this. Let me know if anyone has seen a similar one.
Shades of orange seem to be popping out in the garden. Somehow more than usual were planted this year.
The orange plants can easily be seen from across the yard or inside the house.
Orange is a blend of red and yellow. The color orange evokes joy, creativity, healthy eating, sunshine, the freedom of expression and many other things according to the internet. Or it is simply a pretty, bright color.
This has been a disappointing year for Poppies in the Automatic Garden. Even after multiple sowing, no Poppies emerged. Did the seeds rots or did ants steal them? I just don’t know. Luckily, I have a great post from the past to remind me of what could have been.
Take a look at A Good Poppy Crop.
I spotted this Monarch caterpillar crawling on a large clay pot. It was far from the Butterfly Weed, so I thought I would keep an eye on it.
The caterpillar climbed up to the rim and attached itself. Look closely for the nearly invisible thread.
For some reason that did not seem right, so the caterpillar dropped to the ground.
It crawled around for quite awhile and headed up a stick for a better view.
Finally, it settled for this plastic net that is protecting a plant. And yes, I did spend quite a long time watching this caterpillar crawl around. It is their habit to leave the plant they feed on and form a chrysalis elsewhere and are usually hard to find.
And in no time the caterpillar was in its chrysalis. Sadly, I missed the process and when I checked hours later, it was done.
About the time it should have hatched, a beautiful Monarch Butterfly was hanging on a nearby brick wall drying its wings and the chrysalis was gone.
And the circle of life begins again with a female Monarch depositing her eggs. I like to think it was the same one that hatched, but there is no way to tell. She checked out all the plants and made sure the eggs were laid only on Butterfly Weed.
Apparently other Monarchs had stopped by and on the same day, I found a tiny caterpillar barely a half of an inch long starting on its journey.
This year has already started well for the butterfly population in my area and many more have been stopping by than in past few years.