There is something magnificent about spring turning into summer. Yes, it ushers in the heat, but it is when the butterflies begin to come out and flowers begin blooming. It is the time when the sounds of crickets feel the night air and all sorts of insects begin visiting my garden. You simply have to accept the good bugs with the bad. That is part of nature and maintaining a balance in the garden. A few chew marks are worth accepting if it means protecting the butterflies from fatal pesticides.
This is the second year of my garden and it expands each year. I have host and nectar plants for the butterflies. The host plants supply a feeding frenzy for butterfly caterpillars and nectar plants provide food for the adult butterflies. A Monarch caterpillar can consume an entire plant so it is better to have “too much” than not enough.
There are all sorts of bugs that visit my garden. Some familiar and others unknown, but many are welcome in my garden. There is one insect though that I can’t tolerate and that is the Japenese beetle (pictured below). They multiply by the day so in order to avoid pesticides, it requires a daily ritual of picking them off. If you hold soapy water beneath them, you can knock them into it. We just knock them into water and then dump them into the chicken coop. They devour them in a matter of seconds. They say one persons trash is another’s treasure. Well, chicken treat in this case.
Here is a Japanese beetle on my bee balm.
A Cosmos flower.
Tiger Swallowtail on Zinnia flower
A sunflower getting ready to bloom.
Flies on a carrot flower.
I’m working on planting hundreds of Milkweeds. I have to replant them yearly since they are tropical. They are fast growing, so I’m planting them while I work on establishing my native Common Milkweed. You can get free Milkweed seeds here. http://livemonarch.org/
To learn more about butterflies and how to raise them, you can buy my butterfly book here: https://www.createspace.com/4083202 I recently finished this second edition the end of May. It is available at Create Space and on Amazon.