The Butterfly Bed, October 2019

This time last year I started planting up my brand new flower bed. A year on it looks like it has been there forever. πŸ™‚ Β It has been amazing all summer, despite the drought, and with some welcome rain in the autumn it has continued to attract butterflies until today.

We have had no end of Painted Ladies all summer in all sizes and some very pale and washed out but with exactly the same markings as this bright one pictured above. The German name ‘Distelfalter’ – Thistle Butterfly – reveals its favourite plant, and we have plenty of them both in and around the garden! It has enjoyed the Verbena bonariensis, Buddleia and Cosmos especially.

Another butterfly was caught with my camera the other day. I thought it was a Silver Washed Fritillary, but now think it may have been a Queen of Spain Fritillary. In any case it also loved the Verbena. πŸ™‚

I have also seen Great Tits eating the Verbena seeds, which surprised me.

There are four Buddleias which I think attract the butterflies most in summer, but they are practically over now. Currently it is the Aster that is grabbing all the attention in this bed – not only that of the bees, hoverflies etc, but mine too!

Aster pringlei ‘Pink Star’ is leaning at a rather odd angle I’m afraid, as a storm in September threatened to topple it completely and it was propped up as best I could without damaging it. The butterflies – especially Peacocks – have been visiting regardless, and the bees love it!

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has just got better and better since the heatwave in July which caused it to stop flowering almost completely. The little Achillea next to it is a relatively new addition. It is called ‘Pomegranate’ which describes the colour pretty well. Although we have wild Achillea all over the garden, the ones planted in the flower beds have not thrived, so I am hoping this one will do better.

Here is a wider view of both Pink Star and Rozanne.

Mmmm… Miscanthus!

It is one of my favourite plants! This is ‘Adagio’, chosen because I grew it in the old garden and it is a relatively compact one. I have planted other Miscanthus, but they need another year or two to get established it seems. Adagio must be a strong one to have done so well in such a short space of time. The Gaura in front of it in this photo was planted in spring and will probably not get through the winter, but it has been a wonderful splash of pink here all year.

Finally, the hardy Scabiosa (S. caucasica ‘Perfection Blue’) which I grew from seed have flowered on and off all summer and already set seed with new plants appearing. The flowers are about 8-10cm across, and such a beautiful shade of blue… I really recommend this plant!

So, all in all it has been a good year for the Butterfly Bed. Next year I will try harder to get photos of the other butterflies visiting.

Have you had many butterflies this year? Which was most common? I would also love to hear what plants you grow for attracting butterflies.

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday and a great week. Thanks for visiting!

 

Sempervivums and a Sledge…

I love plants that take care of themselves, whatever the weather throws at them. Who wouldn’t?!

Recently I collected some old pots of Sempervivums from our old garden that had been neglected for … ahem…. quite some time(!), and replanted them in some grit and a little bit of compost along with all their ‘babies’ and a few new additions.

They have been placed in this antique sledge that a friend found for us on an old farm last year.

Now, be honest with me, do you think this is kitschy?! πŸ˜‰

I can see the sledge across the yard from the kitchen window and we put some fairy lights on it last Christmas… now that was pushing it a bit!

Do you have any kitsch/almost kitsch in your yard or garden? Do share! πŸ˜‰

In A Vase On Monday: Because…

It is some years now since I had to get out of the house early on a Monday morning and I recall the gloom of Sunday evenings well, preparing lessons and my school books for the following morning. (I did love my teaching job, but my last year there was sullied by conflict.) School starts at 8 am here, so the alarm clock went off in (what seemed like) the middle of the night! Luckily my Mondays are a lot brighter these days, partly also thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and her lovely Monday meme!

Today I decided to put a vase together after missing last week – well, actually I did indeed have a vase last week, but stormy winds and torrential rain prevented me from getting any good photos of it to share.

So this morning I set out the vase I wanted to use and went outside with my garden scissors to see what I could find…

Oops!

Yes, I ended up with so much material. So just because….., I made up two larger arrangements and three small vases. πŸ˜€

The first one is an ode to October – a sunflower (Silver Queen about 120cm tall with silver foliage), Chrysopsis, Rudbeckia, Helenium (Lemon Queen), Euphorbia, Fennel and some Alchemilla, Cosmos and Abutilon leaves to form a kind of collar. I tied these together in bouquet style before putting them in the vase.

The second large arrangement in my lotus vase includes a bit of everything, but the main features are the Aster ‘Pink Star’, the Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberry’, the lovely deep pink Achillea ‘Pomegranate’ and an unidentified pink Cosmos with curled petals that just appeared from nowhere. It looks like the seashell ones, but I have never grown them here!

The Tithonia near the house is still producing the odd flower, but the frost got to the ones on the sunshine bed and they will have to be cut down soon. So I just had to pick some more of these lovely cheerful flowers simply because…., with an orange Echinacea and two red zinnias (which are possibly the last two worth picking).

Finally, a few leftovers and an Abutilon flower (Bella mix). I love them in pots, but I planted all my seedlings out this year and found they got a bit lost in the flower beds; the flowers tend to hide behind the enormous leaves…

Thank you Cathy, for hosting this meme. I know it has improved Mondays for many other people too, who either join in or just stop by to take a look.

Do visit Cathy’s vase full of autumn joy today, and have a lovely flowery week!

🌸🌹🌸