A couple of summers ago I collected a whole bag of seeds from our white swamp milkweed. Late winter I stuck them in the fridge for a month and then planted them in pots. It took them forever to sprout. I think it was a couple of months. I just stuck them outside to see if anything happened after nothing happened I had all but given up on it figuring I messed up or something until one day I noticed green sprouting.
Our pink swamp milkweed that we finally picked up last summer seems to be coming up again. We thought the original white one we got was the pink one but it was apparently mislabeled. It sucked that it wasn’t the one we got but the butterflies loved in none the less. We weren’t sure it was even going to come back up considering we didn’t buy it and plant it until August and the monarchs found it immediately.
My Nan and Pop didn’t have much money and always made what was available work for them. I was always very close to them. When I was a kid I took an interest in gardening and wanted a greenhouse. My Grandfather built one in his back yard. It was just a small wooden frame with various recycled windows he had around or got at work I guess. He built a couple of shelves in there and it surprisingly worked really well.
Two summers ago Molly had read about butterfly weed to attract butterflies. We Just couldn’t find it anywhere but managed to find swamp milkweed That was supposed to be pink but ended up being white but it didn’t matter in the end. Until I we picked up the milkweed I had forgotten that it was something I had always wanted to plant after reading about monarch butterflies in elementary school.
It’s always cool to find unexpected wildlife living where you least expect it to be. Today was one of those time. We were unrolling the hose to use it to water the plants and also clean up the old leaves and seeds from the corner where it is. There was a toad sitting underneath of it. It was pretty well camouflaged with the leaf and seed litter that gathers in the corner from the wind.
We spent the spring looking for butterfly weed last year. First we checked at Hostetters in Mount Joy but they didn’t have any yet. We found ourselves at Stauffers later for other plants and decided to check there. We found swamp milkweed instead so gave it a try. I grew well and did attract monarchs. It turned out to be white instead of the pink it was marked as but it was okay.
Last fall I gathered tons of milkweed sees from the pods as they dried out thinking it was worth a shot to try to propagate more plants from seeds because we had a few people ask us about where to get the flower that attracts the butterflies. I had no idea if the seeds were mature enough to harvest or anything like that but I got a baggy of seeds to try it out.
We just love peppers and now that we have a small garden we planted all sorts of them last spring. They grew slowly. Our garden situation is far from ideal with the shade from the large tree and the roots from it sucking all of the water but it was worth a try. We hoped they would do okay for us even knowing they wouldn’t get a lot of sun. It turns out they did reasonable.