I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m finding it very hard to write, take care of the house, garden, and work full-time this year. Don’t know why when for fifteen years, I managed just fine with a longer commute and teenagers but somehow I just don’t have the mental or physical energy or maybe the enthusiasm to come home, change and do anything outside except water until the bugs drive me inside. Then it’s make something for dinner, clean up and get ready for the next day.
I’m not complaining ---I’m very grateful to be working in this economy and by all indications—this will turn into a permanent job with benefits in a few weeks--but these beautiful summer mornings when I’m driving to the office make me long for all I’m missing outdoors. I love having coffee on my tiny porch in the morning, then loading up the wheel barrow with my tools and supplies and spending the morning outside in my gardens coming in for the hot part of the day and then back outside till dusk.
This weekend was the first since April where the weather and my family commitments fully cooperated and left me with a free weekend. I have been trying to catch up with my weeding and planting the stuff I got at the plant sale. I vowed that I would not buy any more plants this year until everything that was living in a pot was planted but this morning on my errand run for gas and composted cow manure, I caved at Home Depot and brought home two new pale yellow daylilies named “Joan Senior”! They are not in bloom yet, but I promise a picture when the buds open.
This post, I also wanted to write about Butterfly Weed (Asclepia tuberosa) also called “pleurosy root”. It’s a member of the milkweed family and really too beautiful to be called a weed. If you have a really dry sunny area, it’s a a great choice. Having a deep taproot it’s drought resistant and will spread freely if you don’t dead head it and let the seeds fall, but otherwise I find it easy to control. I don’t mind it spreading because friends always want a plant, once they see mine. There aren’t too many pure orange flowers other than annuals. It comes in other colors too but the orange is a stunner and seems to attract the most butterflies. Mine is planted with a clump of English lavender and blooms the same time—the combination is stunning. It’s also excellent for cut flowers and lasts quite a while.
Here are some butterfly pictures I took yesterday and today—I think after seeing them, you’ll understand how Asclepia tuberosa, got its common name. One summer before I started blogging I counted fifteen Viceroy butterflies feeding on it at one time. The butterflies in these pictures are Great Spangled Fritillary and Yellow Swallowtails. They’re the real deal in garden art!