Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The last (probably) monarch leaves my yard

Monarch covered in morning dew
We were surprised to see this one lone monarch in our yard two days ago. I would have thought they would all have gone by now. She spent the night on an old withered-up milkweed plant and was covered in dew yesterday morning.

I moved her onto an aster in a sunnier spot in the garden, and after a few hours she was gone. I hope she makes it to Mexico after such a late start!

(More about monarchs on my website)

Fall nectar
The bumblebees are still going strong, nectaring on some anise hyssop volunteers that started growing in mid-summer. The flowers are beautiful, fresh, and must be full of nectar since there's a lot of bee activity on them. The asters and goldenrods still have flowers, but they're definitely starting to go to seed. The birds should be happy about that!

This year, I've found, though, that the asters, goldenrods, and joe-pyes have started to take more than their fair share of the garden. As much as I like these plants, I've started pulling out quite a few of them so other plants don't get squeezed out.

My other major project this fall is to put plastic plant labels next to all of my plants except the most recognizable and/or prolific. Too many times in the past I've bought new plants only to either forgotten where I put them (probably then pulling out these as yet unfamiliar plants as weeds) or they've been overtaken by more aggressive plants. I know these white plastic T-labels aren't the most attractive addition to the garden, but the benefits of not losing my new plants and not forgetting their names are more important. After a few weeks in the spring, most will be hidden anyway.


David Feldmiller said...

I've tried to contact you at hg.cny@verizon.net but cannot find how to use so am using this way to hopefully ask a question about milkweed propagation.
Last year I dug up five swamp milkweed plants from a neighbor's garden. I found the rhizomes about a foot below the surface. (Most was probably mulch from past years.) Only two of the rhizomes came up this year. One became heavily infested by ants. (They had a mean bite.) That plant died back about six inches. So far no blooms have appeared on either plant.
Is there hope for next year? vic627@kagres.org

David Feldmiller said...

P.S. I'm really David's father, Victor.