Good afternoon, my fellow flower freaks! Are y’all as happy as I am that the cooler temps are gone for the next few days? I am so not a cold weather person.
Today is a work at home day, so the pups and I are hanging out in the backyard enjoying the sunshine. Gibbs and Ziva are chasing lizards, and I’m working on a garden design for Jessica, putting together a list of hummingbird and butterfly attracting plants for Lori, and finalizing next week’s delivery schedule of plants ordered through R&G’s online Neighborhood Garden Boutique. A big shout out of thanks and appreciation to all my wonderful clients! ❤🐞💐🌸🌹
How did your garden survive the cold snaps? Let’s not trim that dead, frost bitten stuff back yet for a few reasons: it protects the plant if we get more cold, and pruning causes plants to put out new growth, which is the last thing we want until we’re past our last frost date. Which, for Orlando, is February 15th, but we all know that’s not written in stone. Yeah, I know our gardens don’t look the best right now, but it is winter. I’m just happy our gardens aren’t buried in snow!
My young Sweet Almond Bush is still cranking out the blooms. Her leaves look a bit ragged, but that’s normal this time of year for her. What’s still blooming in your garden?
Hit me up if you have questions about the cold weather and your plants. I’ll be happy to help!
When planting a butterfly garden it’s important to have both host and nectar plants. A “host” is the plant caterpillars eat, and “nectar” is the plant butterflies get nectar from. Milkweed is one of the few plants that is both a host and nectar plant.
In the New Orleans area we have some butterflies who don’t migrate during the winter. That’s why we should plan our butterfly garden to have nectar plants growing and blooming year round. On my little balcony I have Sweet Almond Bush, Aloysia virgata,
and Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima,
both of which bloom through the winter and provide nectar for butterflies and other beneficial insects. Plus their blooms are very fragrant, and that makes me very happy.
Beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterfly, Agraulis vanilliae, feeding on the Sweet Almond Bush bloom on my balcony. Even on November 28 we still need flowering nectar plants in our gardens for the butterflies to feed on.
It’s a beautiful November day here in New Orleans. Gauzy white clouds are floating through a bright blue sky. Just enough of a breeze to help the windchimes sing. And flowers in the garden enjoying the cooler weather and recent rains.
The sweet almond bush, Aloysia virgata, is in full bloom. Beautiful white panicles beckon bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and all other pollinators with their intense almond fragrance and promise of nectar.
Dancing Girl Ginger, Globba winitii, isn’t fragrant but her gorgeous blooms more than make up for that. The breeze is just enough to make her look like she really is dancing to today’s beauty.
Ah what an amazing power nectar filled flowers have on hungry butterflies and bees.
I put this Sweet Almond Bush, Aloysia virgata, on my little balcony about a week ago. It started blooming its oh so wonderfully fragrant white flowers yesterday. And, viola! The bees and butterflies began showing up today. Wasn’t quick enough to get a pic of the bees, but I did get this beautiful butterfly which I think is a Monarch.
Sweet Almond Bushes are such awesome plants. They do get big … I had one in the ground that got large shrub size: about 15′ x 15′. This new one will need repotting soon to a much larger pot. They like sun to part sun, but aren’t very finicky about anything else. The flowers repeat bloom through the year, yes they smell just like almonds, and they attract every kind of nectar loving critter out there from hummingbirds to wasps.
What are you waiting for? You need one of these wonderful shrubs in your garden!