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Rest Stops Along the Way

September 21st, 2016

Last winter I read about how planting things like tithonia and zinnias in the garden provided important rest stops for migrating monarchs and hummingbirds. This year I have a huge patch of both in the main vegetable garden behind the barn, planted just for this reason. I’ve been watching dutifully to see if the monarchs would stop by on their migration. Sure enough they have…
monarch-on-zinnia-1
monarch-on-zinnia-2
Not only are the monarchs and other butterflies enjoying this patch of flowers, the bees are loving them as well.
bumble-bee-on-tithonia-blossom
I’m more than happy to plant a large patch of plants to provide much needed sustenance for the monarch and other pollinators in the fall. It’s always a happy thing to see the results of your efforts, even on such a small scale. We can make a difference, even if it is just by planting a few late blooming plants in our gardens to provide much needed rest stops for migrating monarchs and hummingbirds.

Do you have any late blooming plants that the butterflies and bees are loving?

5 Comments to “Rest Stops Along the Way”
  1. Hilary on September 21, 2016 at 7:19 am

    These plants are so important! I was at a gardening job the other day and the Monarchs were landing on the flower barrels. This is in a commercial setting so it literally is a concrete jungle. It was a great reminder of how good it is to plant flowers everywhere.

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  2. Sara on September 21, 2016 at 8:00 am

    There’s a big patch of zinnias on my bike route to work that has been covered with monarchs, I didn’t realize they were a good fall food, I’ll have to plant more next year. We have asters and sedum that bloom in the fall, and my garden marigolds are always covered with bees this time of year–and we were just talking about how the raspberries are good feeders of bees right up into the frost, which also keeps us in fall berries too :)

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  3. Laura on September 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    At our house we have planted all bird, butterfly and pollinator friendly plants. We had two Black swallowtail Caterpillars on our Rue plant that will be overwintering so that was super cool to find out.

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  4. JessB on September 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Just found your podcast so had to check out the blog!
    We have huge patches of zinnias because I love them AND so do the beneficial insects. I also recommend asters and marigolds for late feeding. The marigolds actually intensify in color as the weather gets colder. I’m excited to dig around on your site and on your blog roll. Thanks!

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  5. Nebraska Dave on September 22, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Susy, my poor man’s patio is surrounded by planters filled with shade flowers. One of the flowers planted is Coleus. There have been so many bees on those plants this year. I didn’t think that Coleus flowered but it does. It has a long stem of tiny flowers that sprout up from the center of the plant. Usually, I just cut them off but didn’t have time this year and who knew the bees like them. So no more cutting off the Coleus flower stems for me.

    Have a great Monarch butterfly day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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