Floral Friday: Sept. 29

The weather has been staying fairly warm — although dry — in Connecticut, but that's actually been perfect for tucking in more plants for a fall crop. Below, in my Eco Garden System, I've planted romaine lettuce, a red lettuce and dandelion, plants started from plants my local nursery.

In addition, I have swiss chard seedlings getting established as well. They are taking their time growing, and it looks like I will need to thin them soon!  The other portion of the Eco Garden System contains two celery plants that are still producing, although I cut them back a few weeks ago, along with a few remaining kale and carrot plants. The days are starting to run shorter, which means less overall daylight, but even though the Eco Garden is slowing spending more time in the shade, the cool-weather crops don't seem to mind.

I spent most of my time this week preparing for my first garden lecture to the town's garden club, the Portland River Valley Garden Club/Brownstone Garden Club. I decided to focus on "Gardening with Your Wild Neighbors," and I talked about dealing with nuisance pests as well as ways to attract beneficial insects and birds to the garden. 

One of my recent deterrent strategies to keep squirrels from stealing my Kieffer pears has been using the hologram tape (that I tied to the pear tree branches) and fake owls.

So far, it's working.

A large portion of the presentation included information on attracting butterflies to the garden, and this week I've noticed a steady uptick in migrating monarchs stopping in the front garden.

This week, the flower of choice is the Joe Pye Weed. This male monarch's wings looked a bit weathered, but he still flew beautifully around the property.

As if on cue, the afternoon I came home from work to get ready for the lecture, my last butterfly eclosed from her chrysalis — a spicebush swallowtail butterfly. I brought her with me to the lecture and then released her Thursday morning. (Below is when she was waiting in the mesh enclosure to be released.)

As for blooming in the garden, the asters are mixing with the beginning of the perennial mums.

Last week I went on and on about how great the Franklin tree is, and this week it bloomed for me again. 

I really need to find a home for this tree besides my back patio!

What's blooming in your garden this week?

To see what was blooming last week in my garden, click here.


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