Early April Garden Wildlife & Blooms
We’ve never had a ton of monarchs in our garden, not compared to what we had in our Florida gardens, but they’ve always been a transient butterfly throughout the spring and summer migration months here in Texas. This year, however, it seems as if we’ve had a few more than usual and some have been laying eggs on the milkweed! I suspect we will be needing to purchase more milkweed soon. This particular milkweed is Asclepias curassavica, or tropical milkweed, though we have another species that we picked up at another nursery that was unmarked as to what species and hasn’t leafed out enough for us to try to identify. I also started from seed A. tuberosa and A. incarnata which are both starting to germinate and put on growth. In our neighborhood, in some of the right-of-ways and empty lots there is quite a bit of antelope horn milkweed growing wild. Chris has plucked seeds from a few plants before and we’ve thrown them in our right-of-way but haven’t seen any germination from them yet. We’ll likely try the cold stratification in the fridge technique for the next seeds we collect from there and start them that way the next time.
I’m excited about our monarch eggs! I can’t wait to see them turn into munchy caterpillars!
‘May night’ salvia.
A bee clinging to the ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia.
We had an early foxglove bloom back in, I think December or early January, but the rest of the plants are just now sending out flower stalks.
In our currently never-ending quest to pull the bazillion elm seedlings that sprouted in the flower garden, I found some eggs on the back of a tiny elm I pulled. I quizzed a few people on social media and someone chimed in that they were possibly ladybug eggs. Sure enough, the University of Google suggests the same thing. I put the leaf somewhere safe so I could keep an eye out on the eggs but the last I saw I think the leaf disappeared. Not sure what happened to it. I will poke around more and see if I can find it soon.
Ledebouria socialis, leopard lily/silver squill blooms
The garden is looking lovely these days despite some of the weeds!
Good work on the Monarch eggs. They do prefer tropical milkweed over the native and I learned in a seminar recently that the tropical milkweed offers more protection from predators by way of making them stinky!
I’ve planted a number antelope horn milkweed seeds with no results so next time it’s the stratification process too.