I looked out the front door this morning to see if we had any monarch butterflies flying around yet and the rose clusters caught my attention. The sun was hitting them just right that they were glowing super bright. I wanted to get a picture of it to post here but naturally my phone was dead and on the charger this morning. No problem, I can get the picture later but I kept forgetting about it and remembering it when I didn’t have my phone handy.
Our rose bush normally blooms sometime around new years for what ever strange reason but it didn’t get to do that this year. It used to change colors when we first got it but it never really grew that well for us. We assumed it was just dead. One winter we had to have the yard dug up to fix the sewer. That was a shitty day. Thanks neighbor’s tree roots!
I haven’t yet had any like identifying what these are for sure but I really haven’t put a ton of effort into discovering it either. It’s really just a curiosity but I thought I’d share the picture of some spring positivist. They come up every year and every year I wonder what they are but then forget to look deeper into it. I’ve seen the bees and humming birds at them in previous years.
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.
Well Our Hibiscus plant that the squirrel ate last fall has been blooming a bit and slowly improving all winter. It’s bloomed off and on as the old buds continued to grow and is slowly regaining leaves. Over the past few weeks the growth has been speeding up and a whole new wave of buds appeared. Today it has 5 flowers in various stages of being open with a couple of more buds getting ready to open.
Someone that used to live nearby planted lots of flowers in an empty lot a few years ago. I think he may have moved away since I didn’t see him taking care of the flowers at all last year where in the past he was always out there. The bulbs keep coming up and it’s a nice thing to see the flowers each year. Driving past their yesterday we noticed the flowers so I had to go check them out today.
It’s really been sort of surprising and interesting to watch how our Hibiscus plant is coming back again. A squirrel ate it bare right before we brought it save a few pieces of leaves and flower buds. It took a couple of months but those buds eventually opened and new smaller leaves appeared. There are still small leaves but they’re slowly getting bigger. The thing that has been surprising to me is that it keeps getting flower buds.
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.
Last fall I moved our Hibiscus plant from the front yard to the patio to be nearer to the garage door to make it more convenient to bring in for the frosty nights. The first morning bringing it outside again I noticed some damage. I figured I banged it into the door frame carrying it and it lost those leaves. it got worse each day. Maybe it’s adjusting to less light and lower temperatures I thought.
Last winter we brought our Hibiscus plant in the house for the winter to see if we could keep the same one for the next summer. We’d tried it the year before but the garage got into the low 20s unexpectedly and it died. We didn’t realize how much insulation had fallen out of the ceiling and had no heat on. Last winter we had kept the current one inside the house but we don’t really having south facing windows that aren’t blocked by something so it got very little sun and in the spring it got none due to the sun angle changing and not having access to place the pot close enough to the window to be in the sun.
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.
I was recently remembering some of the odd things I liked when I was growing up, particularly around elementary school age. One of those things was I liked plants but especially cacti because they were unusual or at least didn’t grow outside around here like your typical green leafed plants do. I probably learned about them in school or something but this type of plant was just something I found very fascinating.
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.
When I was a kid I had a venus fly trap and thought it was the coolest thing. The whole idea that plants could even be carnivorous was really neat to me. I’ve always been interested in thinks that are different from the norm. I got more carnivorous plants years later. If I’d have to guess I’d say that was 15 years ago or so. It came with 6 plants in a little plastic green house type of thing.