I noticed several years ago that I wasn’t seeing Monarchs in my garden. I get plenty of the black and yellow tiger swallowtails, the white Cabbage Moths, and even the Spicebush Swallowtails from time to time, but no Monarchs. I had decided it was time to look into doing something about it. I found monarchwatch.org and learned more about it and what I could do to help them. I discovered that I have a VERY monarch-friendly garden with lots of plants they love, but I was missing a key ingredient: Milkweed. Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed and as butterflies milkweed is where they lay their eggs.
In the spring, I had planted milkweed and low and behold, I saw my first monarch in years just a couple of weeks ago. I was in the garden weeding and was hot and sweaty after a long day in the sun. I was plum-tuckered-out and was ready to call it quits when I looked up and saw it flitting about wildly from plant to plant in the garden. It seemed particularly fond of the butterfly bushes (surprise, surprise) and the white David Phlox. I ran inside and grabbed my camera and ran around after that butterfly like a crazy woman, jumping up and down in excitement. I sure hope the neighbors didn’t see me.
Brian had a friend over and here I am all dirty and sweaty, smiling ear to ear, showing him my butterfly pictures on my camera. Yeh, he thought I was a crazy person.
This is a weird shot of the monarch flying away. Almost looks like it’s flying upside down.
Now that my garden has more than enough monarch-loving plants to qualify, my garden is listed as a Monarch Waystation by MonarchWatch. I even have the certificate to prove it and I think I will splurge for the sign from them that you can get to put in your garden. Yeah Monarchs!
For more information, visit these informative websites:
8/24/14 Update: I saw another one today! Well, it may have been the same one, but hey, I’ll take it. This time it was on the Joe Pye Weed.