Friday, August 21, 2015

Allium 'Millenium'

It has been a long time since I have done a plant profile and I am not really sure why other than time gets in the way. I love plants and especially love good plants. I have a good deal of good plants in my gardens. These are plants that look good all season, are easy to care for, serve a purpose, and provide nectar and/or pollen for the pollinators. One such plant is allium 'Millenium'.
This allium is a very new addition to my garden. When I visited Ohio in June I also visited a great deal of plant nurseries and got some good buys. Did you know plants vary by region? Even plants that will grow in my Tennessee garden might not be available in my area. Therefore, traveling to other states and plant nurseries help to provide a smorgasbord of options for good plants that not only grow in other states, but also grow in my Tennessee garden. This allium is perfectly hardy in Tennessee and has withstood heat and drought and being newly transplanted and divided admirably. It is a winner all around. I was most excited to find it.
A good deal of alliums are prolific self seeding perennials. Not this one! This one is sterile and grows from a rhizomatous bulb that will slowly spread to form a good sized clump. Right now my clumps are small and kind scarce. That is to be expected since I bought only three pots but divided those three pots into six or seven clumps. Next year they'll be bigger and better.
I planted mine at the front of the foundation border near some garden phlox that echoes the color of the 'Millenium' allium. Both the phlox and the allium are beloved by butterflies. I could not really get a picture of the allium without a skipper partaking of its goodness. Okay, I could've but geez, don't you love the skipper on the flower? Pollinators are quickly becoming a passion for me in my garden.
These are long blooming attractive in any season perennials. They are also deer and rabbit resistant. So far so good!
The next time you are looking for a great plant look up 'Millenium' allium. It just can't be beat for late season color and ease of growth....

in the garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Proof Positive Butterflyweed Hosts Monarch Caterpillars

Finally! After many years of growing butterflyweed, aka Asclepias tuberosa, I finally have found monarch caterpillars!!! Each year I would hunt for the cats but never found any. There was always plenty of Milkweed Tussock Caterpillars but never any monarch. Finally, they are here.
There are quite a few of them too. These cats are small and are probably third instars as they are not even an inch long. I planted five small butterflyweed plants in a front garden about a month ago and these are the plants hosting the monarchs. I checked my wild butterflyweed (planted and grown by Mother Nature), but could not find any monarchs on those plants.
Each plant had one of two monarch cats happily munching away and not paying any attention to the photographer.
This one is just below a section of one plant that was already eaten. Note the frass in the crotches of the leaves. I purchased these small plants in Ohio last month. It is hard to find good butterflyweed plants growing in pots because they have tuberous roots which can have difficulties growing in pots for too long of a time. These plants were in 4" square pots and were only about 6" tall. The seedpod you see was from the blooms that were on the plants when I purchased them. Right now the plants are coming into a second bloom cycle with lots of new foliage.
I am simply thrilled to have monarch caterpillars and have applied for our garden to become a certified monarch waystation.
The butterfly weed also is hosting a few milkweed bugs.
Lastly, the 'Henry Eiler' coneflowers are blooming up a storm....

in the garden....just for the butterflies.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden