August FUFpdate

Hello!

This Gray Tree Frog surprised me when I lifted a pot of flowers from the patio table. I’m sure it was also quite surprised to be suddenly exposed! I carefully moved her/him to a spot under the lilac. Good luck, friend! I hope life is easy for you… being green and all.

I am happy to report the number of bees has been increasing! Butterflies, still not. I did find one Monarch egg yesterday on the swamp milkweed. Haven’t been seeing nearly the numbers or diversity as previous years. Maybe soon?? Below are three types of bees on three types of flowers. Love, love, love. Someday, someday! I will get myself schooled on identifying our local bee species.

What if you don’t have the space or capacity to have all kinds of flowers at your place? You can still help a pollinator find a meal. This tiny cilantro plant (of a few leftover seeds I threw in the pot that was the tree frog’s hideaway) nourished this bitty bee. A flower head is smaller than the width of a dime. Proof that even in a small space with minimal effort, you can create ecology. It made me grin seeing this!

Folks, here’s the longest-running FUFpdate of the season. America Sweetpeas. The ones I had to reseed in a new spot after someone (I’m pretty sure Tomato-Stealing-Chipmunk) chewed off the seedlings in their original planting. When the first stem bloomed, besides doing a happy dance (I really thought they’d never establish) I just stood and stared in awe. The color is unbelievable. You know I’ve been working on my acceptance of red flowers, having been partial to magentas my whole gardening life. These sweetpea blooms have pushed me over the edge. Red like a mystery, red that makes your eyes go soft, red that holds your attention with a soft, satiny grip. And with the crumbs of rainfall on them? It’s just too gorgeous. This photo cannot do it justice.

The King Navy Sweetpeas, however, are anything but photo-worthy. They have put out a couple stems of blooms, and those are lovely, but the plants are anything but “king” in their spot. Not enough sunshine and mediocre soil conditions where they are. Next year, I want an America reprisal along with trying Oban Bay (external link). I will do the cardboard tube germination process again for both. And they’ll be planted in the newly expanded cut flower bed! (Been so busy with that, I really could update y’all all day.)

I’ll close with the plant that is queen of the garden this year: Loofah! Above and beyond the repurposed closet-shelf trellis, they really do climb and climb. This bloom at the tippy-top smiling at the blue sky was another grin moment for me.

As always, my wish for you, readers and ecologists, is a pleasant week ahead, noticing who else lives in your place. Hopefully, too, you’ll have a moment to lift your face to the sky and grin.

Keep growing πŸ™‚

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