Posts Tagged ‘native plants’

Butterfly Weed: A Must-Have Perennial

Many plants look flashy in their pots in the garden centre, giving us the overwhelming urge to put them in our shopping carts, but some of the best ones do not, and that’s a shame, as some of the most delightful perennials can be easily overlooked. Native butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) is one of these, and it’s a perennial plant from the milkweed family that deserves a spot in every sunny garden. The one in my garden, pictured above, is two feet high, gently mounded, and is full of buds just starting to open. In the next few days it will pop and be absolutely gorgeous, in the most vibrant orange.

It took a mere three years to go from a few spindly leaves when it was first planted to the beauty that it is today. They are a fine example of the sleep, creep, then leap behaviour of many perennials. This means they spend some time creating a good root system, (a year or two). You might not see too much happening above ground for the first couple seasons, then on the third year they come back with a pow!

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The Tipping Point and Natural Wildlife Gardens

monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly on verbena bonariensis flower.

Is the desire for natural gardens—along with a concern for pollinators like bees and butterflies—at a tipping point? I’m beginning to think so. Now that so much of our world is technologically driven, urban, half concrete-based and half virtual, there’s an instinctual movement back towards the natural world. The urge is primal—a longing for the natural—for, as Joni Mitchell once wrote, “getting back to the garden”.

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