Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Flowers and insects

We always plant flowers amongst our garden to help attract pollinators and just this week the zinnias opened.  OOOO - we love them!  The flowers are so colorful and cheerful.  See for yourself:

The garden looks more inviting to us with color too.  There are two large rows of marigolds that will open soon and we let a Queen Anne's Lace grow for the black swallowtail caterpillars.  The calendula and sunflowers are getting very close to flowering too.

We are definitely dealing with more garden pests here than anywhere we've gardened together in the past.  Our winter squash is completely infested with squash borers, but we are just letting the plant grow for now.  (We've cut borers out in the past only to lose the plant anyways, so we are just letting nature go.) The flowers are still attracting many bees that will hopefully visit our other plants too.  We learned butternut squash is not a favorite of the squash borer moth (which is so beautiful!) so we might just stick to that in the future.  Our zucchini also attracted the borer moth; it is suffering, but still producing so we planted more seeds that germinated in ONE day.  Wow - it's certainly warm.

While working in the garden we discovered this little caterpillar turning into a cocoon:

We're not sure what type of moth this fella will become, but know it is going to spend some time in the soil until emergence time.  We moved him to a foot free location.

I (Jennifer) also discovered this fantastic Nais Tiger Moth in our straw bale this morning.  I had just enough time to take a picture before the moth crawled hurriedly into the deeper recesses of the bale.  Gardening is so fantastic!  We're such fans of all this wildlife! 


  1. I'm growing zinnias for the first time this year. What colors! So easy! I don't cut native wildflowers, since I'd rather they go to seed and spread, but I have vases of these on the kitchen table, the bathroom, at work... I'm lovin' 'em.

    Caterpillars have ravaged my brassicas. I have row cover I haven't installed and Bt I haven't sprayed -- part laziness and part just-no-time. I hope a fall crop will fare better.


  2. I love all the zinnias! They are hard to grow in our wet spring (and certainly this year they were!).Believe it or not I just planted a zucchini last week. Pathetic.
    That tiger moth is cool.

  3. The flowers and moth are beautiful! Can't wait to see your garden in person next week!


We love to hear from our readers! Please share your thoughts.