With the warm weather and flowers blooming we are starting to see more butterfly visitors. The lovely gulf fritillary Agraulis vanillae in the image above spent a while in the patio area. First it was sipping nectar on flower heads of the butterfly bush Buddleia. Then it spent a long time on the ‘Oaklandia’ passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana leaves and blossoms. I wonder if it was laying eggs there, since passionflower plants are their sole host plants. This is t
We grow herbs in pots all year round, but the only time we have vegetables growing is in the summertime. We usually grow tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. At our previous home we were successful enough with these vegetables. But here at our new home, where we have a lot of direct sunlight for most of the day, the plants are larger and producing more crop. From experience I have figured out that cherry tomatoes are easier to grow and less likely to split on the vine. We have thre
Here is another first for me. A couple of months ago I planted this Delta Sunflower Helianthus annuus as a seedling, another purchase from Annie's Annuals https://www.anniesannuals.com in the native plant garden. It is now 5 feet tall, with branches that are 20 inches wide. Here is the first flower the day before it opened. This is the ancestor of domesticated sunflowers, native to the Western states. I can't wait to see butterflies, bees and birds flocking around it!
This is the first time I planted a Bishop's Children Dahlia x hybrida . It is growing in a 7 gallon pot and thriving. What is interesting about these plants is that you never know what color the blossoms will be. I thought the blossoms would be different colors, but all them are this same vibrant shade of red. Bees are constant visitors for the dahlia's nectar and pollen. In a recent post there were images of the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee. In the above image is a honey bee for
The Oaklandia Passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana‘Oaklandia’ vine is now producing beautiful red blossoms about 3 inches wide. It's such a lovely sight. You just never know when you plant something new if it will thrive because of so many factors - enough or too much light, the right soil, too little or too much water. Somehow I'm doing something right for this plant. And now the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Agraulis vanillae has been visiting every afternoon, spendi
The Leaf Cutting Bees are enjoying the pollen and nectar of many plants in our native garden area. Most of the plants in this garden are native to California, but I just can't resist growing cosmos every year. The photo above is of a Leaf Cutting Bee in an 'Orange' "Klondike Cosmos". This cosmos plant is native to Mexico. I love that bright orange. Here is another Leaf Cutting Bee in a Coreopsis Grandiflora Sunfire blossom. Another name for this plant is Tickseed or Butter Da
This past Sunday I saw this lovely little butterfly lingering in our native plant garden area, my first sighting ever. It is a Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly Brephidium exilis . It especially loved the Sea Cliff Buckwheat Eriogonum parvifolium that started blooming again two weeks ago. This tiny butterfly has a wing span of 1/2 to 3/4 inch and its natural habitat is alkaline such as salt marshes, desert and wasteland. Hmmm, what does tell you about our native plant garden.... I
Look at this Yellow Faced Bumble Bee. It's sleeping on one of the Snow Puff Cosmos flowers. I always thought that when bees sleep on blossoms that they are actually in the middle of the flowers. Rear view of the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee sleeping on the Snow Puff Cosmos petal. But this bee is defying gravity, sleeping upside down, with its legs grabbing onto a petal. This was taken in the evening. The next morning the bee was still sleeping, until the temperature was just right
I've read that Leaf Cutting Bees Megachile Latreille mostly construct nests in tubular cavities such as holes drilled into wood, bamboo tubes or hollow stems. But I've never heard of them making nests in spaces between cement bricks! That is exactly what this Leaf Cutting Bee is doing in our patio. I noticed last weekend and again this weekend that a bee was always flying into the space between two cement bricks that are part of one of the brick planting bed walls. This after
I'm not the best person to mingle at gatherings, and my favorite place to be is outdoors in gardens. So this past Fourth of July I spent quality time observing bees on scabiosa (or pincushion) blossoms. The honey bees went crazy over a patch of these flowers planted next to a building. Sunbeams fell particularly bright upon this area that afternoon.