Thoughts from the Cottage…
Monarchs and the Gardener
Arbor II Extenders
16 ½ W x 25 ¼ x 9” H
Increases opening of arbor to 100” W x 108”H at corners.
33 lbs Pack Weight
Black powdercoat finish
Encourage natural controls. Birds and beneficial insects can go a long way toward maintaining balance in your landscape. Create a welcoming habitat with feeders and shelters.
Tolerate some damage. Keep in mind that caterpillars are butterfly and moth larvae. Overlook some feeding damage on plants as part of the process in creating a welcoming butterfly habitat.
Learn and share. From egg to larva to pupa to adult, butterfly metamorphosis has captured the hearts of poets and writers. And scientists still don't understand the marvel of monarch migration— how successive generations of butterflies are able to navigate to a place they've never been before. Consider volunteering to make presentations about these fascinating creatures to local school and community groups. You'll be helping children and adults make a stronger connection to nature, and show them ways they too, can help save the monarch butterfly.
1 pound mixed green, yellow and purple snap beans
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Sort the beans according to size, adding the larger ones to the water first, then the smaller ones so they will cook evenly. Cover, and boil until they are snap-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Pat dry. In a small salad bowl, combine parsley, mint and thyme. Add lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the cooked beans in a serving dish or bowl, and drizzle with the dressing. Serve at room temperature on a bed of lettuce.
Ellen Ecker Ogden is the author of five books, including From the Cook's Garden, based on the catalog she co-founded in Vermont, and The Complete Kitchen Garden, which features theme designs for cooks who love to garden.
Peony …Twin or Imposter?
…Can you tell the difference between a Peony, Ranunculus and a Rose?
Amazing! An insect with a body the size and weight of a paper clip can migrate 1,500 miles or more. Not once, but twice in its lifetime. First in autumn, it flies to a specific site in Mexico (a trip it has not taken before). Again in spring, when it returns north to reproduce. The monarch populations have been declining during the past decade. The absence of monarchs has been noticed! Just not as many on my aster plants, which are normally swarming with them. What can a gardener do?
Create a Welcoming Habitat!
Grow caterpillar food. Monarch caterpillars are fussy eaters. Adults lay eggs only on milkweed, because that is the only plant they eat. No milkweed, no monarchs. Great source for milkweed plants and seeds is at Monarch Watch, a group dedicated to monarchs.
Grow nectar plants. Monarchs get all their energy by sipping nectar. Plants such as asters,
black-eyed Susan, calendula, coreopsis, purple coneflowers and zinnias are nectar rich.
Create the habitat. Butterflies need a landing pad to drink, and they love mud puddles. Dig a few divots in the dirt and keep moist so butterflies can sip water and get the much need minerals from the soil. Plant trees and shrubs where butterflies can roost at night. Butterflies can't fly when they are cold, so place large flat rock in locations that receive morning sun to give them a place to warm up.