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Old 05-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Lots of American Ladies

Finally, after years of planting native host and nectar plants I had the pleasure of watching 5 American Ladies and 1 Red Admiral today in a group on the non native flowers of chives in the herb garden.
There are 2 patches of pussytoes, their host plant, and already I see some curled leaves where they must have layed eggs.
I have plenty of other native flowers blooming in the garden but the herb garden is near the pussytoes and in a sunny sheltered area.
I was going to pull out half the chive clumps and plant other herbs and vegetables in their place but I'll have to wait now.
They also spent a lot of time sunning and landing on moist soil.

Normally I see an occasional butterfly here and there but 6 together is a real treat to watch.

There are also eggs from a black swallowtail on all the bronze fennel plants in the same herb garden.

Is this a particularly good year for Lady butterflies?
I seem to remember other posts of a lot of red admiral sightings.
Reading up a little on these butterflies I found out that the red admirals are really a form of Lady butterflies
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are doing everything right will-o-wisp, I saw my first "lady" butterfly on the last nice day we had. I hope it finds a mate and the Caterpillars can go through their cycle and have the second batch lay their eggs for the over-winter stage. Sometimes I feel like the lazy gardener on the block because most of my neighbors go the True-Green, Non-Native route. Since I leave plenty leaf litter and grass clippings year-round I'm hoping to see lots of insect activity this summer. When the butterflies fly for cover from summer storms at least I can rest assured they can ride the storm out with the safe havens they need.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:32 AM   #3
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"Lazy" is a positive in this case sprucetree, as I'm sure you are well aware of, just hard to convince the rest of the neighbors of.

I have quite a "mess" in the garden this year also since I also have left leaf litter and even stalks of some of the taller plants besides the 3 major projects in some stage of development.
- Border rocks removed and pilled up so the paths can be widened, as well as plants moved and potted waiting for their new home to be ready
- Compost moved so I can use the dog run again and add pavers and gravel for the dogs,
- The removal of a large diseased non-native azalea to be replaced by blueberries, with the removal of soil and the redirection of the downspout run off and addition of compost

I broke a wheelbarrow and a garden fork this weekend and had to replace both.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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"Lazy" is a positive in this case sprucetree, as I'm sure you are well aware of, just hard to convince the rest of the neighbors of.

I have quite a "mess" in the garden this year also since I also have left leaf litter and even stalks of some of the taller plants besides the 3 major projects in some stage of development.
- Border rocks removed and pilled up so the paths can be widened, as well as plants moved and potted waiting for their new home to be ready
- Compost moved so I can use the dog run again and add pavers and gravel for the dogs,
- The removal of a large diseased non-native azalea to be replaced by blueberries, with the removal of soil and the redirection of the downspout run off and addition of compost

I broke a wheelbarrow and a garden fork this weekend and had to replace both.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Here's something I've found about the red admiral explosion in the Midwest & Northeast:
A profusion of Red Admirals | The word on birds | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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I have to try that, get pussy toes sense we have ladys every now and then.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:19 AM   #7
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The Red Admirals have been flying in our garden for weeks but I have not seen the Ladies. The Red Admirals land on anything bright including me when I work outside. It is amusing to watch them chase each other about and kind of swirling around each other. They were much earlier than usual. Luckily the pellitory is growing low along the wall, just a few inches high though. I hope the butterflies found it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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leaf03 Healthy? Lazy? Sweaty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by will-o-wisp View Post
"Lazy" is a positive in this case sprucetree, as I'm sure you are well aware of, just hard to convince the rest of the neighbors of.

I have quite a "mess" in the garden this year also since I also have left leaf litter and even stalks of some of the taller plants besides the 3 major projects in some stage of development.
- Border rocks removed and pilled up so the paths can be widened, as well as plants moved and potted waiting for their new home to be ready
- Compost moved so I can use the dog run again and add pavers and gravel for the dogs,
- The removal of a large diseased non-native azalea to be replaced by blueberries, with the removal of soil and the redirection of the downspout run off and addition of compost

I broke a wheelbarrow and a garden fork this weekend and had to replace both.
------Sounds like you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors, The best stress reliever and source of vitamin D there is. Your potting/re-potting plan should work out fine, After all the nurseries have potted plants till 4th of July. Some times it takes longer than we think to dig the holes, Put down the compost and place the plant at the correct spacing and depth. I read a book years ago by Thalsa Caruso about her gardens; They were mostly Mature Gardens that came with the different houses she rented. Each had it's short comings but she adapted to each design. Caruso stressed if you do nothing in the first couple years plant the "Bones" of the garden; The large shade tree[s]--I took that to heart and now 25 years later if I spend a day weeding I can work with the Sun always putzing in the shade. It's a requirement now that I'm moving my sun loving perennials farther and farther out and expanding my beds which were all established around each tree. The small rings around each tree now have merged together to form islands.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprucetree View Post
------Sounds like you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors, The best stress reliever and source of vitamin D there is. Your potting/re-potting plan should work out fine, After all the nurseries have potted plants till 4th of July. Some times it takes longer than we think to dig the holes, Put down the compost and place the plant at the correct spacing and depth. I read a book years ago by Thalsa Caruso about her gardens; They were mostly Mature Gardens that came with the different houses she rented. Each had it's short comings but she adapted to each design. Caruso stressed if you do nothing in the first couple years plant the "Bones" of the garden; The large shade tree[s]--I took that to heart and now 25 years later if I spend a day weeding I can work with the Sun always putzing in the shade. It's a requirement now that I'm moving my sun loving perennials farther and farther out and expanding my beds which were all established around each tree. The small rings around each tree now have merged together to form islands.
Any pictures of those "islands?" Sounds interesting.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the encouragement for my projects and the description of your mature garden development, sprucetree. You were wise to plant the bones early so you can enjoy the trees.

I second Jack's request to see photos of the joined islands in your garden.

I had the pleasure of watching the Ladies visit both the flowers of the pussytoes yesterday and deposit eggs on the leaves. Of course by the time I got the camera it had turned cloudy and they left.
You can see a few curled leaves in the photo where the eggs are.
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