Three Kinds of Sweet

19 Jul

Each year in my garden I wait for the milkweed plants to start blooming. I love to watch the butterflies and bees that come for the sweet nectar.

This year in my yard I have three different kinds of milkweed plants. Only one of the plants I purchased and planted as a perennial. The other two have grown wild in my yard.

I purchased this plant a few years ago to attract butterflies. I wanted Monarch butterflies to come and lay eggs and then collect the caterpillars for my classroom to show them how they formed the chrysalis and then hatched into butterflies which we later released.

Last year I found Common Milkweed growing in my garden on it’s own and I decided not to pull it up like I would have done many years ago before I discovered Monarchs. I let it grow and go to seed. Now I have several plants to attract the Monarchs.

The last milkweed plant is the same kind of milkweed plant as the first only it is one that I found along our lakeshore this past weekend. It grew there naturally. It is a Swamp Milkweed.

This plant is in it’s happy place and I was excited to see it growing naturally. This past weekend I saw my first Monarch flying around the garden. I wasn’t able to get a shot of it with it’s wings open but only hanging on to the higher branches of our pine tree.

I’ve planted a lot of flowers over the years to attract butterflies, especially the Monarchs. These three plants along with my Butterfly Bush that isn’t blooming yet are sure to attract the Monarchs. The butterflies also like my Echineacea plants,Phlox and Monarda or Bee Balm as it is sometimes called. It’s been a treat to see the butterflies visit the garden each year.

Hopefully some butterfly pictures to follow over the next few weeks.


Posted by on July 19, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography, Wildflowers


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

24 responses to “Three Kinds of Sweet

  1. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    July 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

    We have our incredible huge butterfly bushes overflowing with blossoms, plus lots of other butterfly and hummingbird attractants. Last year I could not keep up with the number of butterflies, including monarchs and viceroys – I got photos of wings open and closed (although they are the open-wing varieties of b’fly).

    This year, to my amazement, we have had very few. I mean, I can count on one hand the variety we have had so far: skippers (closed wing), the apphrodite fritillary, one Appalachian swallowtail that did not stick around long enough to be photographed, a bedraggled buckeye, and the summer azure (I posted that photo recently – and it fed on the clover and not our bushes!). The one thing that has come out prolifically are our hummingbird moths! Love those critters! I also saw the elusive and rare (for our part of the country) “neighbor moth,” but alas I did not have my camera. At least I got a photo of one last year, but before I had my new camera!

    Our bird variety and frequency is still way down from last year, although the ones that come manage to eat a LOT of food! We have had two hummingbirds that were gone before I could get my eye on the viewfinder!

    Oh well. It’s still fairly early in the summer. Maybe later. I hope you get lost of great photos, and please share when you do! I love to see a pro’s work. Helps me know to what I can aspire!

    • Jeanne

      July 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Paula. I am far from a pro but I am having so much fun learning new things everyday with my new camera. I think counts are down or later than last year because we had such a cold long spring this year. I don’t know if it was the same for you or not. I can’t wait to get some photos of the monarchs this year. I didn’t have my new and improved camera last summer. Blessings, Jeanne

  2. ceceliafutch

    July 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jeanne

      July 19, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Cecelia for stopping by and commenting. It’s been an extremely hot and humid week here in Minnesota and am I thankful for the distraction of my blog to be indoors and cool. Blessings, Jeanne

  3. tedgriffith

    July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Beautiful photos, Jeanne! I especially like the monarch in the tree. 🙂

  4. Carl D'Agostino

    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’ve never seen these flowers. Good luck with the butterflies.

    • flyinggma

      July 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      I don’t remember seeing any of them while we were in Florida but there were so many tropical flowers there that we never grow here. I loved your Humpty Dumpty cartoon this morning 🙂

  5. planejaner

    July 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

    the third picture in on your post STOLE my breath away.

    Just lovely!
    thanks for sharing!

    • flyinggma

      July 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures Jane. I am more than happy to share with those willing to take the time to look. The third picture is my favorite of the ones I posted this morning. The background is the shaded lake area along the shoreline where the flower is growing with a hint of morning sunshine.

  6. Linda

    July 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    So much beauty too look forward too. Very pretty pics. I would love to have one of these plants.

    • flyinggma

      July 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      They grow very easy if you have the right climate. We live in Minnesota so if it can grow here I think it would be pretty hardy in other places due to our extreme temperature changes throughout the year.

  7. Mark Petruska

    July 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    There’s something magical about monarchs…hope they visit your yard in droves! Great pics, as usual.

  8. Jeanne

    July 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Mark! i do love watching and waiting for the monarchs almost as much as the loons returning and making their nests each year.

  9. Thomas Stazyk

    July 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Great pictures! Have you ever heard the story that the earlier Monarchs appear in the summer the longer winter will be?

    • Jeanne

      July 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Does that mean I get a shorter winter this year?? That would be great for a change.

  10. Meanderer

    July 20, 2011 at 2:20 am

    That’s a very pretty flower Jeanne. I really need to have more summer plants in the garden to attract more butterflies. We have a very shady garden – lots of mature trees – and the sun-loving perennials and annuals don’t do very well.

    I’m pleased you got a shot of that beautiful butterfly; I look forward to seeing more as Summer progresses!

    • Jeanne

      July 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

      The milkweed I have growing in my yard are mostly in shaded areas. I know that the Common Milkweed does well in full sun but it also does well in my shaded areas.

  11. nrhatch

    July 20, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Beautiful shots, Jeanne!

    • Jeanne

      July 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Nancy! I’m excited to be back in business with my camera after losing my battery charger on our trip to Montana. I was suffering from withdrawal for sure.

  12. pearlsandprose

    July 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I do miss seeing butterflies. We’re probably too close to D.C. or something, because I rarely see them anymore. Maybe if I plant a butterfly bush?

    Lovely photos, Jeanne. My favorite is the third one with the bokeh. 🙂

    • Jeanne

      July 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

      If you plant them they will come….I like the third photo best as well. Thanks Carole,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. pattisj

    July 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    There are perennials in Minnesota? lol Who knew! 🙂 We planted a milkweed last year, it was red and yellow, got to about four feet tall, then I discovered the Monarch caterpillars which quickly ate it nearly to the ground! I’ve seen one Monarch this year, it passed me in the front yard. Haven’t seen any out back where most of the flowers are. There are very few butterflies of any kind here so far this year. There were some tiny caterpillars on the fennel before we went away for a weekend, and I hoped to identify them when I got home…but they were gone. I’m wondering if the robin that perches on the hook holding the butterfly nectar ate them!

    • flyinggma

      July 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      We do have perennials in Minnesota. Each year I try to add a new kind to my garden. I love perennials because once I plant them I don’t have to do much else except make sure they don’t take over my whole garden like the Purple Coneflowers.

      I haven’t seen much for butterflies either this year but it has been a strange year for weather here.

  14. Carol Ann Hoel

    July 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    How nice to have monarch butterflies in your garden! And the milkweed is lovely, too. It seems that milkweed is a plant I was familiar with in my grade school days. It grew wild in the field behind our school. Blessings to you, Jeanne…


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