Useful wild plants, design tips, gazania troubles, bordered patch butterflies

July 22nd, 2010 Posted in native plants

This is an absolute first for me. Columbine in mid-July!

Columbine in July

Now, it’s normal for Zexmenia hispida to bloom in July. It would probably bloom a little more if I got out there and did some gentle shearing, especially since it’s flopping all over. But not now, it’s busy.

Bordered patch butterfly on zexmenia hispida

Another first: clouds of Bordered Patch butterflies relentless in their pursuit of happiness. Since zexmenia is also their larval food, I may get some free pruning!

Bordered Patch butterfly wings closed on zexmenia hispida

Long ago, I vowed that every plant in my garden would be useful in some way, like this passion vine feeding a future Gulf fritillary butterfly.

Gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion vine austin texas

Scooter Cheatham and Lynn Marshall at Useful Wild Plants helped teach me to see every plant in a new perspective. This week on CTG, Tom meets with them for a few revelations and connections between what’s on your table and what’s growing outside.

Useful Wild Plants Scooter Cheatham Lynn Marshall

Their invaluable encyclopedias, The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico are up to Volume 3.  Volume 4 is on the way!

Their extensive research over many years connects every plant to its origin, its multiple purposes, cultivation, history, and even poetry! Also, check out their Weedfeed workshop and field trips, where you learn to identify food in what seems to be the most unlikely places, like these delicious wild tomatoes.

Useful Wild Plants Scooter Cheatham Lynn Marshall

On tour, see how designer Annie Gillespie connects to the land with her garden renovation in deer country.

Botanical Concerns Annie Gillespie garden

Annie got her native roots working at the first location of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a few years back. With her skill in architecture, drainage issues and plants, she finds solutions for problems, most recently at home. Plus, she gives us a few of her professional tips on how to lay out our design and plants.

Got rot? This week, Daphne explains what’s going on with drought-lovers that got a little too much water love. Gazania is one of the victims, coincidentally in my garden.

Gazania rot from too much water

I’m getting so many tree questions that this week, arborist Guy LeBlanc is our special Backyard Basics guest. He answers two of the top questions: how to deal with oak root sprouts and ball moss.

oak root sprouts Guy LeBlanc Arbor Vitae Tree Care

Harvey will be watching online, even though he didn’t get an Ibunpad for his birthday. He’d eat it. Until next week, Linda

  1. 13 Responses to “Useful wild plants, design tips, gazania troubles, bordered patch butterflies”

  2. By Miki K. on Jul 22, 2010

    Oh Linda, Love your photos of the butterflies and the caterpiller. I can remember when you filmed the birth of a butterfly. Your neice and nephew took the film to school for show and tell. Love Miki K.


    Linda reply on July 22nd, 2010 5:02 pm:

    Love you too!


  3. By Cheryl in Austin on Jul 23, 2010

    I think columbine is best photographed in profile! It’s an amazing summer, I’ve got them blooming too. Looks like a great show Linda!


  4. By Jo Dwyer on Jul 23, 2010

    “He’d eat it.” Oh how I loved that. Happy Birthday to Harvey!



  5. By Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings on Jul 23, 2010

    My goodness, sometimes you and I think alike. The fritillaries haven’t started chomping my passiflora yet, but they will soon. I love your show BTW.~~Dee


  6. By Jenny on Jul 23, 2010

    Bordered patch butterfly is lovely. I have lots of Zexmania but have never had a visit from this butterfly but I will look out for it now that I know what it looks like. This year is a strange year. Your columbine and I have Ca poppies still blooming.


    Linda reply on July 24th, 2010 12:10 pm:

    Yes, I’m not positive I’ve seen the bordered patch before. Or maybe a few, but not mobs like this!


  7. By Joseph on Jul 27, 2010

    Great photos of the bordered patch! I’ve seen quite a few of these myself this year, as well as the gulf frittilary, but I haven’t seen a caterpillar yet! How cool is that? They look metallic! Now I’m off to, that sounds like an awesome site! Thank you!


    Linda reply on July 27th, 2010 5:15 pm:

    You’ve got a great blog! And thanks for reading & watching. You’ll love Useful Wild Plants. Next week, I do post a viewer’s crazy bordered patch caterpillar collection on sunflowers. Somehow I missed all the caterpillars & just got the glory!


  8. By Annie in Austin on Jul 30, 2010

    You are too funny, Linda…Harvey wouldn’t eat it… he’d just save photos of favorite carrots to his iBunpad ;-]

    The Bordered Patch butterflies & caterpillars are all over my native sunflowers this year. I don’t remember ever seeing either the adults or the larvae until this year but this kind of sunflower has been in my garden at least 5 summers. I really wonder what triggered the butterflies to finally find us.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


    Linda reply on July 31st, 2010 3:16 pm:

    That’s been my thought too! The caterpillars aren’t all over my sunflowers but obviously they were somewhere. Interesting year.

    Yep, Harvey likes pictures of carrots, for sure. I guess an Ibunpad would keep them busy when I was at work. I could put little bunny movies on it for them.


  9. By Jane the Organic Gardener on Jul 31, 2010

    Those photos are stunning, i absolutely love the butterfly pics. What kind of camera is it that you use? My brother has got a really good camera which i might have to borrow to take some snaps of my garden.


    Linda reply on July 31st, 2010 3:19 pm:

    I have an Olympus Evolt-500, but I don’t have a macro lens, which is a nuisance. You can get some really outstanding Canons and others right now at a good price, and that have very good macro settings to nab pictures of your organic garden.


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