Sharing memories of 2019’s garden, with hopes that this reminds us all that happy days will come again.
Best new addition
Meadow blazing star…
…which really is a monarch magnet.
Other new plants
Swamp milkweed was successful in my yard for the first time!
I planted this thimbleweed from seed several years ago, and it finally appeared.
This is narrow-leaved coneflower, the native version of the popular purple coneflower found nearly everywhere. I bought just one of these plants and it seemed pretty lonely in its new spot in the garden. Hopefully it will spread quickly.
I also purchased two other blazingstars (rough and prairie), a bottle gentian, two blueflag iris, and aromatic aster. (The other pots are plants that are, ahem, still hanging around from 2018.)
All of the milkweeds and the blazingstars did well — possibly because we fenced them in and the rabbits didn’t get to eat them this year. (This one is whorled milkweed.)
The false indigo produced one flower spike in 2018. The following year: about 60!
It had a relatively short blooming period, but it was much loved by bees when the flowers were around.
Wild ginger is doing spectacularly, especially in the more shaded backyard garden.
The bishop’s cap gave up after two years, possibly crowded out by violets.
The butterflyweed up front, which was a huge two-colored beauty for years and was a host of many monarch caterpillar eggs in years past, and survived the sewer reconstruction of 2018, petered out in 2019. These buds did bloom, but that was the extent of the plant.
When pulling grass from my backyard garden, I suddenly realized I had gone too far and hit the spiderwort.
Fortunately, it was early enough in the year, and it grew anyway, blooming for the first time.
This wild columbine survived being eaten by deer (twice) and a transplant during the blooming season. What a strong plant!
This pretty vine…
…turned into the pretty but invasive crown vetch. Out it came.
And I gasped when I saw this one: garlic mustard! I spend hours helping parks get rid of this terrible invader! And I probably carried seeds back home with me on my shoes from one of those events. I pulled it out long before it could create seeds.
Best unexpected find
Bird’s nest fungus! It’s obvious how this one got its name. Notice the (small) clovers for perspective on just how tiny these treasures are.
This chrysalis was hiding under a common milkweed leaf. Could be a red admiral; I’m not sure. I watched it for a couple weeks but it disappeared — likely eaten, since the chrysalis “shell” was gone.
I believe this is a red admiral caterpillar. It’s so blurry because it was almost dark and my phone did the best it could to compensate. I was looking for caterpillars on the pennsylvania pellitory plants in my front yard, since I’ve heard they are a host plant, and I lucked out! Good reminder that what we may consider a weed (in this case, a mildly aggressive sticky weed) may be vitally important for our insect friends.