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.


Spiders Writing

I have to move carefully around my tall flowers.

That is where the writing spiders build their webs.


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.


Lucy has made hers.



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.


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


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

Saddleback Caterpillar, Sabine stimulea

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


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.


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


I love watching their heads turn.


I was happy to see this beneficial garden resident.


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




A Tiny Winner

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


It is tiny but mighty.

It has bloomed all summer.

It is especially lovely today in our 90 degree heat.


The fairies must be taking good care it.

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


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


Jewel Dropping

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


I do love its chartreuse leaves.

I love its tiny pink blooms.


But its best feature is its seeds.


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.


So the jewels have dropped and scattered over the years.


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.


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


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.

Snow Country Dahlia

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

compost from the kitchen, bunny poop and mushroom compost.

Firepot dahlia

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

They have grown wonderfully.

Thomas Edison dahlia

They were so beefy they needed extra staking.

I think my dahlias are happy in a row.

Don’t you?



Timing is Everything

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


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

I planted the seeds along this bank.

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.


The Monarch(s) came two days ago.

As I pulled up my driveway yesterday.

I saw my dream.

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.


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.


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.


It was covered by dozens of butterflies yesterday evening.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Black Knight Buddleia

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

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth/ Hemaris thysbe

and a lone MONARCH!


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.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-Spotted Skipper