Monday, June 30, 2014

Farewell to my Parsley

After a couple of years of the resident woodchuck devouring my parsley out in the garden, I have placed it up on the edge of the porch in a window box. It did really well there last year, out of Chuck's reach. I dried a lot of it and even brought the whole box inside for the winter. It was happy on the sunny windowsill. I placed it back outside in May. It looked like it was thriving until the other day when I went to water it and did a double take. It was munched on! I saw that it was a caterpillar, no wait, four caterpillars munching away. Four black swallowtail caterpillars getting bigger everyday as my parsley gets smaller. Oh well, I still have dried parsley from last summer! I look forward to seeing the butterflies flying around.
Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Where has all the parsley gone?

Striking Markings

Seeing Double

Milkweed for Monarchs

There are a lot of milkweed plants growing in gardens and yards around the village. This is a Very good thing! Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. It lays its eggs on the plant and then the caterpillars munch away on the leaves. No other plant will do. This plant means survival for the monarch. There is a sharp decline in the monarch butterfly population due to habitat loss and the heavy use of herbicides which destroy the plants. The plants' flowers are extremely fragrant and attract butterflies, ants, bees, and hummingbirds. I have some plants flowering by my porch steps and enjoy their scent each time I come in and out of the house. Gardeners, homeowners and school gardens are all being urged to grow milkweed and to not use herbicides. Young plants transfer better than mature ones. If anyone wants some just let me know. I have sixty plus plants in my garden. Although I haven't seen a monarch butterfly yet, I'm hopeful that they will flutter by and regain some of their numbers this season.
Bee on milkweed flower

Fragrant milkweed flower


Patch of milkweed