My One Passion

In years past, I had three Passions.  A wild one, a red one and a hybrid.

I killed the red one. I backed over the wild one. The hybrid is the only type left.

Luckily,  I have several plants of this Passiflora ‘Blue Crown’ hybrid.

I finally got brave enough to put one plant in the ground along a fence near the Asparagus.

Here is its first ever bloom.

If this plant does not survive our winters, I have two more in large pots.

It is a vigorous vine that climbs the deck poles

and then is trained to grow on a trellis upstairs.

 

All are happily blooming in this August heat.

It is such a marvelous bloom.

Flower

Spiders Writing

I have to move carefully around my tall flowers.

That is where the writing spiders build their webs.

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I do not wish to disturb their writing and eating. (Fern has caught quite a feast.)

I have three this month; one on the Lucifer(Lucy), another on the Gladiolias (Gladys)and a third on the ferns(Fern).

They are big and beautiful.

I enjoy checking on my female Arigope aurantia friends every day.

It’s interesting to watch them wrap their food for safe-keeping.

I am keeping an eye out for egg sacs.

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Lucy has made hers.

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My Favorite Caterpillar

I feel fortunate that I found these little Saddleback Caterpillars.

They were not in their usual place, the underside of leaves on the banana trees.

This year they are on my coffee tree.

I only found them because I was removing scale from the underside of the coffee leaves.

There are three. All are small.

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This one is not much bigger than those nasty scale.( brown dot on the left)

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They hide under the leaves and crawl along the stem to another leaf.

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Saddleback Caterpillar, Sabine stimulea

The spines of  the Sabine stimulea sting,  so I know not to touch them.

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Look but don’t touch!

Flower and Friends

Insect Stalking

I have been out on an insect hunt this week.

I have been looking for newly emerged Cicadas, which I think are beautiful.

Thus far I have only found the split skins/shells

from their molting hanging on the underside of leaves.

I did stumble upon a Mantid in the garden.

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It saw me and quickly skittered to the underside of the leaf.

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I love watching their heads turn.

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I was happy to see this beneficial garden resident.

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Just another reason I do not use pesticides.  I cannot poison my friends!

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A Tiny Winner

I planted this little wonder in one of the fairy gardens.

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It is tiny but mighty.

It has bloomed all summer.

It is especially lovely today in our 90 degree heat.

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The fairies must be taking good care it.

It is the prettiest little plant in the yard right now.

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Superbells Doublette ‘Love Swept’ is a Proven Winner Calibrachoa hybrid.

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Jewel Dropping

One of the stars of August is this magical plant, Talinum paniculatum ‘Limon’.

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I do love its chartreuse leaves.

I love its tiny pink blooms.

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But its best feature is its seeds.

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That is why its common name is Jewels of Opar.

These little round seeds sparkle in the sunshine.

They also drop to the ground and germinate.

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So the jewels have dropped and scattered over the years.

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Those familiar chartreuse leaves show up wherever the plant was located last season

or in the pots of other plants next to the pots where they bloom.

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I do truly love this plant, jewel dropping and all!

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Dahlia Row

I usually do not plant in rows.

But I envisioned a bed of tall dahlias along this walkway through a hill.

I thought it would be great to look down on the blooms.

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Snow Country Dahlia

Last fall I amended the soil with all the ingredients dahlias love…

compost from the kitchen, bunny poop and mushroom compost.

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Firepot dahlia

I even topped them off with a special stinky concoction that included fish emulsion and Epsom salts.

They have grown wonderfully.

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Thomas Edison dahlia

They were so beefy they needed extra staking.

I think my dahlias are happy in a row.

Don’t you?

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Timing is Everything

I brought home a pod of butterfly weed seeds over two decades ago.

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I got it while on a trip with my sister and one of our college friends.

I planted the seeds along this bank.

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Danaus plexippus on Asclepias tuberosa

It has taken years for the plants to mature.

My dream was to see them covered in Monarchs.

Maybe some have come before while I was not watching.

This year most of my butterfly weed has finished blooming, except for this one plant.

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The Monarch(s) came two days ago.

As I pulled up my driveway yesterday.

I saw my dream.

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Monarch butterfly on Butterfly weed.

A lone Monarch on the one plant that was a late bloomer.

I ran for my camera.

After taking many photos, I stood and reveled in my good fortune.

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The timing of the Butterfly weed still blooming, the Monarch visiting, my arriving home while it was there and getting my camera in time to capture it all.

Everything is a miracle.

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Living Up to its Name

My butterfly bush was as busy as an airport yesterday.

This is a Black Knight Buddleia with deep purple blooms.

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It was covered by dozens of butterflies yesterday evening.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Black Knight Buddleia

Along with the various types of butterflies were several Hummingbird Clearwing moths.

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Hummingbird Clearwing Moth/ Hemaris thysbe

and a lone MONARCH!

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I was so glad to have my camera. This is the first Monarch butterfly I have seen this year.

I love watching all the fliers sharing the flowers.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-Spotted Skipper

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