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Falling for Verbena Bonariensis

October 11th, 2018

I remember the first time I noticed verbena bonariensis, it was in the Nearing garden at The Good Life Center in Maine. It was stunning in the late October garden.



I bought seeds and tried growing in my Ohio garden, which it didn’t really like it. Then I remembered this beautiful and beneficial plant a few years ago. I started seed and it grew beautifully, providing a much needed late food source for pollinators.


I no longer have to start seed, seedlings pop up around the main garden in June. These are transplanted all around the garden, every year I grow more and more. At the moment, the monarchs are loving them. Next year I’m thinking of doing a mass planting of this beauty surrounded by lamb’s ears. The two colors and textures should work beautifully together.

What flowers are you loving right now?

Procrastinating?

October 30th, 2017

The big flocks of monarch left a month or so ago, but every couple days I see a straggler. I suppose they’re late bloomers, one of nature’s ways to ensure survival. Some hatch early, some late, many in between. I was surprised when I saw a monarch early last week. I was even more surprised to see one both Saturday and Sunday.

Luckily, I plant late bloomers and leave bolting brassicas in the garden just for the pollinators. I have a very large patch of broccolini that is blooming profusely. It’s constantly covered in bees and the occasional late monarch. Sadly, the tithonia that the monarch are most fond of, got killed by the frost last week. Perhaps I should consider a plant or two of it in a sheltered location for these procrastinating monarchs.

Are you still seeing butterflies and bees in the garden? What do you have blooming for them? Any great late season or cold tolerant plants for pollinators?

The Flight of the Monarch

September 13th, 2010

Earlier this year Mr Chiots and I watched The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies. It’s a documentary about the migration of the monarchs. I’ve read about this incredible natural wonder before and always thought it would be neat to see. We have a few monarchs around here in the summer, I see them occasionally, but yellow swallowtails are our most prolific butterflies.

Last night about 7:30 Mr Chiots and I headed out to take Lucy on a walk and I looked up at the sky and noticed a few butterflies flying over. Then I noticed a few more. We kept watching and noticed they were monarchs and they were clustering high in the trees above Chiot’s Run. I couldn’t get any photos because they were high up in the trees and it was getting dark. It certainly was an amazing site to see them clustering up for warmth and to see so many of them flying over. We may try to get up early to see them leave, although we’re not sure when that may be. These monarch will most likely we overwintering in Florida to return next spring. Here’s some interesting info about monarch migration if you’re interested.

Do you have monarchs in your garden?

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About

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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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