Monarch caterpillar munching away on what’s left of that clump of milkweed in my garden. Good thing I have more milkweed in other parts of the garden!
For Monarchs to feel welcomed in your garden you’ll need Milkweed, which is a host plant for the caterpillar, and nectar plants for the butterflies. Milkweed is one of the few dual host /nectar plants for Monarchs. Other great nectar plants are coneflower, rudbeckia, bee balm, cosmos, duranta, liatris, butterfly bush, firebush, porterweed, Mexican bush sage, tall red pentas, Verbena bonariensis, lantana, zinnia, bronze fennel, passionflower, and common rue, among others.
Want to add a butterfly garden but aren’t sure how to do it? Well, I can help you with that because butterfly and hummingbird gardens are one of my specialties! Go ahead .. pick up that phone and give me call to set up an appointment. The butterflies will thank you.
Monarch butterflies … they are on the way back north after their winter layover in warmer climates!
Did you know you can help scientists track where the Monarchs go and when they start showing up? Yep, you can. How cool is that! And how much fun and educational would it be to do that with kids either at home or at school. Here’s the link, Monarch Butterfly Migration, that takes you to Journey North’s website to learn more.
Anything we can do to help the Monarchs stay strong is wonderful.
Looking for something to brighten up your porch or balcony? These pretty container gardens chock full of cool season annuals are prefect for that.
Give them sun/part sun and they’ll give you tons of blooms and fragrance till May or June. The containers are reusable, so I can repot them for you with warm season annuals when these quit blooming. $15 each.
I’m at Alachua County Farmers’ Market till 1:00 today.
If you’re interested in the containers but can’t make it to the market, keep in mind that I deliver in the Jacksonville to Gainesville area. I’ll also create custom containers for you using either your existing containers or containers I supply.
The weather people are saying we’re getting a hard freeze tomorrow night (Monday night to Tuesday morning). Kinda difficult to fathom that happening since it’s 80 degrees out there right now. But there are a few things you can do to help protect your garden from freeze damage:
– Water it well tomorrow morning. A dry plant suffers from cold temps much worse than a well-hydrated plant. The plants need a few hours to uptake the water so don’t wait till 7:00 tomorrow night to water.
– If you can’t take the tender plants inside (house, shed, garage), then cover them tomorrow afternoon. Use frost cloths, cardboard boxes, sheets, blankets, mulch, etc., as cover. Don’t use plastic as that transfers cold to the plant. Take the covering off the plants if it warms up Tuesday day.
– It’s supposed to be windy, which is actually a good thing because the wind keeps ice from forming on the plants.
Call or email me if you questions on how to cover your plants.
And, please, bring your outside pets inside. If it’s too cold for you to spend the night outside, then it’s also too cold for them.
You know, one of the many things I love about living in Central Florida is the fact that we can play in the dirt even during the winter! Here’s our January gardening calendar with tips on what can be done and planted this month:
First off, this vine is not in the wisteria family. “Evergreen Wisteria” is its common name cause someone saw that its flowers and leaves look like wisteria so that person took the lazy way out and decided to call it “Evergreen Wisteria.” I could think of so many more suitable names for this plant. But. I digress.
Its botanical name is Millettia reticulata. Its a twining vine that grows 15 – 20′. The gorgeous reddish-purple flowers are fragrant and bloom in clusters summer through fall. It’s non-invasive, considered a Florida Friendly plant, a fast grower, likes full to part sun, semi-evergreen, and is low maintenance. It’s hardy in zones 8 – 11, so it does just fine here even during our colder winters. What more could you possibly want in a vine?