Friday, March 18, 2011

Laying out the Buffet

One of my sisters -- the world traveler -- came for a visit last week.  We spent an afternoon doing Spring clean up on my front flower bed where I have my butterfly garden.  I had picked up some seedlings the week before that needed planting, and the beds needed a little clean up before new plants went in.  I recalled from past experience that parsley sells out quickly at the nursery so when it came in I went ahead a bought a couple.

We raked leaves out of the bed,  and mulched them, did a little weeding, trimmed back a few dead plant limbs, and gave one perennial (whose name escapes me at the moment) a major haircut to shape it up.

Butterfly/Hummingbird favorite perennials popping up!
Then we planted parsley, bronze fennel and dill plants -- two of each.  They are caterpillar favorites in the butterfly garden!  I had one parsley plant that came back from last year, so I did end up putting one of the parsleys in a garden box back -- permanent location TBD.
I plan to change up my front beds a little this year, and towards that end I put three of the new plants in a second bed nearby to expand my butterfly garden.  They are tiny plants now, but they should be well established by the time the caterpillars arrive to munch.  Last year all three of these plants grew well over 4 feet tall.  (Mutant parsley... it was a shrub!  Which makes me recall that I harvested about 1/4 cup of dill weed last year, and that I should start some of those indoors in pots...)

Front to back: Dill, Parsley, Bronze Fennel
Last year towards the end of the year I bought a book full of color photos that follows the life cycle of butterflies.  I'm looking forward to getting that out this year and being able to identify the caterpillars and the resulting butterflies.

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