This is the Message Centre for paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

The milkweed saga continues

Post 1

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

here's some context: more than ten years ago I began dreaming about turning my yard into a butterfly garden. I worked toward my dream little by little, starting nine years ago, when I planted Coreopsis, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia in front of my house, plus along the side next to my front steps.

That first year, I also planted some Shasta daisies and some pretty yellow flowers that I didn't realize were annuals rather than perennials. Heck, the Shastas started getting sick almost right away, and were dead well before the Fall. The pretty yellow flowers did fine that Summer, but never came back after the Winter. Oh, well.

I still have the Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Coreopsis. They keep coming back, year after year.

Butterflies regularly visit my flowers, but it's beginning to seem that I should raise the bar a bit higher, and also grow milkweed, so the Monarch butterflies could lay their eggs and pupate in my yard, not just sip nectar.

This means growing milkweed, of course, which seems so simple, but I have failed to keep any milkweed alive, year after year. Three years ago I planted Butterfly Weed in my back yard. It began dying back almost as soon as it got settled in. I might have watered it too much. Two years ago, I I planted Swamp Milkweed under the eaves along the side of my house. Squirrels dug up the roots. Not a single one survived. Last year I bought a couple seedlings of Poke Milkweed, which can take the shade in my backyard. I put them behind my shed. Squirrels dug one of them up. The other is showing no siogns of life so far.

Now we come to *this* year. Today I planted some Common Milkweed in two locations in my yard. It arrived healthy, and I scrupulously researched the kind of soil milkweed needs. Turns out, it needs smiley - drumroll sandy loam. So I made a pretty good approximation of that.

After Ip lanted them, I sprayed the leaves with "I Must garden" rabbit repellent. Hopefully, the squirrels will also be repelled by it. Not taking any chances, I put fences tightly around the plants.

This is getting way too complicated smiley - wah, but I do love butterflies. Still.

smiley - winkeye

Last Fall Ip lanted


The milkweed saga continues

Post 2

Icy North

There’s nothing as American as “I Must Garden” rabbit repellent. I’m now going to have to collect repellent brands.

The great Vivian Stanshall was into these. I’ll never forget his “Rhi - NO!” rhinoceros repellent.


The milkweed saga continues

Post 3

Rev Nick - dead man walking (mostly)

Amazon seems to stock everything now, maybe it is time to look for a fresh batch of Shark-repellant Bat-Spray?


The milkweed saga continues

Post 4

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

'There’s nothing as American as “I Must Garden” rabbit repellent.' [Icy North]

Rabbits aren't supposed to eat milkweed, but the rabbits around here refuse to learn what they're supposed to like and dislike.

The older I get, the more I sympathize with Elmer Fudd. smiley - seniorsmiley - online2long


The milkweed saga continues

Post 5

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Elmer has his good sides too, you know, and at least he means well, bless his little smiley - love

smiley - pirate


The milkweed saga continues

Post 6

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

I planted the remaining milkweed plant today. I've ordered three Swamp Milkweeds for the wetter portions of my yard. Today I meant to soak some milkweed seeds in water and then plant them in pots but I spilled everything on the floor, and couldn't get the seeds picked up.

Oh, well. smiley - erm

In late June, the stores will have Butterfly Weed, an orange form of milkweed. It always dies when I plant it in my yard, but I can buy one or two and treat them as annuals. The butterflies can make a good meal from them if they wish.


The milkweed saga continues

Post 7

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

I had to plant my small chilies in my backyard because I traveled to Italy for a week.
When I got home they were all frozen to death smiley - cry

I still have dried chili for several years of consumption, but I have lost the bet on the biggest chili with the most fruits smiley - erm

smiley - pirate


The milkweed saga continues

Post 8

Rev Nick - dead man walking (mostly)

Wood you like something a little more substantial, Paul?

Maybe two autumns ago, a black squirrel forgot a snack that s/he buried in a flower bed here. For over a month, I have been referring to it as "Cousin Stick".

Today, it has been renamed - - - - Chucky Chestnut.


The milkweed saga continues

Post 9

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

I love trees of almost all kinds, but there are already three large ones within sixty feet of my home. A fierce enough storm could push one or more of them onto my roof smiley - bruised.

The largest thing I would plant in my yard would be a rose bush or an azalea. I hope you understand. smiley - smiley


The milkweed saga continues

Post 10

Rev Nick - dead man walking (mostly)

Our property is fairly large, a double town lot. 66' north to south. The northern east-west line is 120', the southern one 88'. I have 2 mature maples on the front lawn (east side), a two-tone Dutch maple on the far west end, as well as a cotinus. And a maybe 4 year old cypress that I rescued a year ago. It had sprouted up and woven into a chain link fence. I removed a very large maple some 17 or 18 years ago that was encroaching on the house foundation.


The milkweed saga continues

Post 11

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

I wouldn't mind some dwarf cultivars -- Alberta Spruces or "Little Giant" Arborvitae. I even tried a dwarf dogwood cultivar, but it didn't do well. I've put some of it in a large planter, and ditched the rest. I also have a Bird's nest Spruce that I'm rather fond of. It needs a larger planter, though.


Key: Complain about this post

More Conversations for paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more