Saturday, April 19, 2014

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view."
-H. Fred Dale  

The container garden is really beginning to show its colors (pun).

This photo taken towards the front of the house, the containers are beginning to fill in nicely.

I'm not too pleased with the way the passion vine, Passiflora loefgrenii "Iporanga" is growing in the yard. As it climbs, the lower leaves wither and die, leaving a skeleton of vine branches and less food for expectant Gulf Fritillary caterpillars down the road.

It will most likely be replaced with either Passiflora edulis or possibly Passiflora caerulea, both very full and dependable Gulf Fritillary host plants. How unfortunate, as the "Iporanga" sports such unique and colorful blooms. If anyone wants it, it's theirs for the asking.

Hot pink flowers of Centrahthus ruber (Jupiter's Beard, Red Valerian).

Tried Centranthus when I took care of the Alta Laguna Park Butterfly Garden, but the deer nipped off the flower buds before I could assess its usefulness as a nectar plant. Supposedly a good butterfly plant, I'll be watching this one as the season progresses. Self sows readily without being invasive, easy to grow, and quite drought tolerant once established. Comes in various shades of pink, red, and white.

 In the process...

Some of the containers shown above are in place while others are waiting for their new spots in the container garden; others still waiting to be planted and spotted. The yellow flowering plant under the window is dill for attracting various swallowtail species as a host plant for their larvae; and added bonus is the large yellow flower umbels that make for good nectar sources. Great as a fresh culinary herb in the garden too!

 There doesn't seem to be any butterflies to be found in the immediate San Marcos area it seems, at least in my neighborhood. Others in the San Marcos/Escondido vicinity see butterflies and some even have Monarch cats on their milkweed plants already. The only thing that has fluttered by recently is a Cabbage White. I did find some Cabbage White caterpillars in the geraniums growing on the porch, but those are unwanted, so I dispatched them. Little buggers eat the flower buds of geraniums and make lace doilies out of cabbage and kale leaves. BLECH!

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