Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Spiderwort Still Blooms


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Spiderwort (a tradescantia species) is a native wildflower.

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A dense clump of it grows in my spring wildflower garden between a hackberry and a pine tree.

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They were given to me by my girl scout leader years and years ago. She had health problems and wanted me to have most of the flowers in her garden.

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This picture shows just how dense the flowers grow.

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I became intrigued by the shape, the color of the flowers, and with the number of those past bloom.

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Obviously, the plants insist on having a long blooming time,

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and I plan on enjoying it.

(I wrote this blog the middle of July, and the plants are still blooming.)

Monarch Caterpillars

Here it’s the 20th of July and I’ve only seen one monarch butterfly!

My gardens haven’t had much attention this summer. Very few butterflies have flown through the yard or visited any of the few flowers.


Monarch butterflies (and many other butterflies species) usually visit butterflyweed.


This summer, there’s only been the one in this picture.


Only these flowers persist on the cluster of plants.

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 And then I found a monarch caterpillar in the leaves of the butterflyweed.

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Bright colors in nature are warning colors.

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 You eat me and I’ll make you sick.”


The monarch butterflies are toxic too.

Trilliums in my Spring Garden

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 My spring wildflower garden grows between a pine on the left and a hackberry tree on the right. The middle tree is a sweet gum, and it grows 15 feet or so back from the garden.

(I wrote this blog around a month ago.)

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Purple trilliums (Trillium recurvatum) are the most common trillium in southern Illinois. All trilliums have parts in threes — three leaves, three petals (which stand upright) and three sepals (angling downward from the base of the flower). The purple ones grow 12- to 17 inches tall in my garden.


White trilliums (trillium flexipes) are scattered in the woods. They grow to 14 inches tall, and are not as numerous as the purple trilliums.

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Only one yellow trillium (Trillium luteum) grows in my spring wildflower garden. It was a gift from a friend several years ago. It only stands ten inches tall and easily hides among the other trilliums.

Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly

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 I wondered if the silvery checkerspot butterflies would visit in my gardens this summer. It seemed like they normally flew earlier.

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The silvery checkerspot butterflies lay their eggs on wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia).

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It’s easy to see where it got its name.

Assassin Bug


Two clumps shasta daisies (Leucanthemem superbum) grow in my butterfly garden.  They don’t attract as many insects as they look like they should.


I found a young assassin bug when making my evening rounds of our backyard.

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It had captured an ant and didn’t like my attention.


The assassin bug was still there the next evening,

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and this time it had a tiny bee.

Immature Ladybug Beetles

  I was weeding in one of my the gardens. 

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I lifted a triangular rock, and there was a ladybug nest.  They hurried into the nearest tunnels. Finding a nest was  first for me.

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Back up here! These were ladybugs, but were too small. I ended up on the Enchanted Learning website. During the nymph stage the ladybugs are gray with a segmented body and legs. These were ladybugs in their pupal stage, which lasts 5-7 days. Near the middle on the left is a cavity with a rolypoly in it. It shows just how small these ladybug pupae were. Then right below the rolypoly is a ladybug pupa that for some reason has a white head and thorax.

There wasn’t a ladybug in sight when I checked the next day.


Red Honeysuckle Backwards


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The red honeysuckle grows on a trellis that was the entry way to a children’s garden I used to have.

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Hummingbirds like it.

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“Here’s lookin at ya kid.”