September 3, 2015
Butterfly Color Wheel, City Hall Lawn to Garden
What would our gardens be without wildlife? I’m on countdown for the aster explosion, since I know that bees, butterflies and other little pollinators are ready to nestle in close.
A voracious insect that’s no fun is the bagworm. Thank you to Jennifer Edwards for her picture AND video, Daphne’s question this week.
It’s easy to miss them since they resemble leaves, thanks to the protective bags spun from leaves and twigs. Just after we taped Daphne’s segment, Lynda Holm sent this picture of bagworm damage on her juniper before she realized what was going on.
Get Daphne’s answer about how to safely eradicate these pests—and watch Jennifer’s amazing video of a bagworm emerging from its silken bag.
Although larvae of Snowberry Clearwing moth go after honeysuckle and other plants, they’re mostly valued as daytime pollinating adults, resembling a bee crossed with a hummingbird. Viewer Picture goes to Scott Stoker for his quick eye behind the lens to capture this beauty on lantana.
To attract helpful insects and birds, fall is the best time to plant perennials and trees. And in late October into November, we can sow our wildflower seeds for a hungry crowd in spring.
Jeff Ferris from The Natural Gardener makes his CTG debut with tricks for planting wildflower seeds, including this tip: don’t water until the seeds germinate! Here’s why.
Mexican mint marigold will flaunt its flowers for pollinators soon, if not already in your garden.
If you’re a fan of tarragon in recipes, this is our version that withstands heat and humidity which French tarragon does not. Mexican mint marigold freezes back in winter, but returns in spring, so add it to your after-last-frost plant list. Find out why Daphne recommends this compact, waterwise herb.
Since we’re all making plant lists, let’s check out the butterfly plant color wheel with Max Munoz from the National Butterfly Center.
What colors do butterflies like most? Certainly, blue, like this Buckeye on blue mistflower (Conoclinium), a late summer through fall magnet for residents and migrating butterflies.
In late spring through fall, you might spy them on blue or white plumbago, like this Spicebush Swallowtail.
In fall, white mistflower (Ageratina wrightii) attracts a crowd. I suspect this Painted Lady had a slight run-in with birds that nipped its wings.
Stately, shade-loving frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a fall favorite, known for its intriguing ice sculpture when the stem freezes.
Groundcover frogfruit covers a lot of ground with butterflies, skippers, bees, and various pollinators.
Butterflies, bees and many others will favor your yellow and pink combo of Rudbeckia and horsemint (bee balm).
Since I’m a big fan of orange flowers, I’m glad I’m not alone. Here’s a Sulphur on perennial shrub flame acanthus.
Julia on Mexican flame vine.
And of course, all milkweeds. Here’s a glorious combo: tropical milkweed against asters.
See what’s flying by at the National Butterfly Center’s gorgeous demonstration gardens in Mission, Texas all year long, in person and online. To experience the renowned fall butterfly migration down south, check out the talks, walks, and other adventures at the Texas Butterfly Festival, Oct. 31 – Nov. 3.
On tour, we visit Rollingwood City Hall, a venue for the neighborhood and pollinators since replacing lawn with gardens and paths that invite interaction all year.
Neighbors, including Robert Patterson, a member of the Rollingwood Park Commisson, championed the new look to remove lawn and conserve water.
Designed by Lauren and Scott Ogden and Patrick Kirwin, they changed direction—not only with paths, but through philosophy.
The game-changing garden found its new roots thanks to neighborhood donations, including the Rollingwood Women’s Club.
As a waterwise demonstration garden for everyone strolling by, it captivates each season with changing annuals and perennial drama among structural evergreens.
Along with drip irrigation to establish young plants, Patrick Kirwin installed two rain collection systems.
Since work began in fall 2013, plants are still young, but filling in rapidly. Patrick bermed things up and topped with 1/4” Fairlane pink granite to promote drainage for drought tough plants.
Winter-hardy, evergreen Aloe maculata blooms for months to attract hummingbirds and pollinators.
The Ogdens sprinkled in lots of naturalizing bulbs, like bearded iris–connecting newcomers to this style with beloved familiarity.
Little secrets capture attention, like desert bluebells (Phacelia campanularia).
Patrick created a dip in the center for a rain garden. Rather than a close-up, here’s the curb view in spring.
Fall spins a new tale with clumping grasses that don’t mind wet-to-dry locations.
How glorious can anything get when you combine Muhlenbergias ‘White Cloud’ and ‘Pink Flamingo’?
Throw in some Gulf muhly and you’re set for fireworks in fall!
Street-side, Lauren’s a long-term champion of turning “hell strips” into heavenly ones. Again, fleeting spring annuals companion with evergreen structure, like blue sotol (Dasylirion berlandieri).
In fall, damianita and Mexican mint marigold claim the promenade.
Gregg dalea (Dalea greggii) travels along the ground to fill in.
In the shady side under oak trees, sedges and boxwood frame Lauren’s conversation area, a spiral of limestone blocks that echo ammonite fossils.
A round table, as you will, without the table!
Coonties join dioons and cycads for structural diversity.
Lauren Ogden will be on hand to answer your questions on October 17 at the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour. Bose and Jr. Skiffle may not be there, but they give the new garden 4 star wags!
SO, let’s just watch it now!
Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda