Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fortuitous Happenstances

While outside yesterday evening to get a picture of this....

Poor Magnolia x 'Jane' she is trying to put up more blooms but they aren't very pretty at this time of year. Jane is advertised as blooming off and on through the season, which she did earlier in the spring and summer. Lately she has been quiet. I was surprised to see color at the top. When I was able to get to the blossom is was kind of sad looking.

Next to Jane is a large group of Verbena Bonariensis. Fluttering around within these blooms was my second Monarch of the season!!!!

We see lots of Tiger Swallowtail--
and many others who flit and flutter away before I can capture a good photo of them.

Here's an accommodating guy-- I saw him on the tomato cage while throwing the ball for the dog, went in to get the camera and he waited for me!

For those who like ornamental grasses but don't have a big space-- Miscanthus sinensis 'Dixieland'. This variety gets about 3- 4 feet tall with the flower stalks just above the grass blades. I really like the variegation on this grass-- it almost glows in the landscape.


  1. Hi Janet, oooh, I am loving that miscanthus! It is just the right size and the blades positively glow! Poor Jane. She needs to save her strength for a nice spring bloom. Hooray for butterflies and dragonflies! :-)

  2. I do agree that the miscanthus is growing beautifully, in fact, it looks rather elegant. Such colourful butterflies and wow, a blue green dragonfly!

  3. Janet....Love the flutterbies, but the dragonfly looks sculptural~~like verdigris copper! It is a pretty does it behave in the rain? gail

  4. That Dixieland is really very nice! I like the white of it too. Love the monarch.

  5. I too, love the Dixieland. I have some small varigated grasses that look similar. What a pretty Dragonfly!

  6. I agree with Frances, that Miscanthus is something special. It doesn't take over does it? I haven't spotted too many Monarchs this season either, what's up with that I wonder. :(

  7. Lucky you, he waited to get his photo taken. I just had my first Monarch this week as well. Finally! H.

  8. Congrats on the Monarch!

    Love the miscanthus, too. Wish my 'Cosmopolitan' was THAT size instead of 8 feet tall!

    PS We're off to Alexandria/DC for a long weekend. Be back to your blog after Tuesday.

  9. Hi everyone!!
    Frances, I really like this Miscanthus, hoping to have it again in SC. Yes, Jane looks a bit sad.

    Autumn Belle, I am glad you like it. All the butterflies and dragonflies are so colorful.

    Gail, He is kind of verdigris isn't he? This grass is upright even after the hardest rain! It is a winner.

    Tina, I like the white variegations in this grass too. I was thrilled to see the monarch.

    RainGardener, Do you know what your variegated grass is? I like foliage interest.

    Raquel, good to hear from you again! I was going to send out the calvary. I only saw a few Monarch early this summer and now I have seen a couple this week, I read they are heading south already.

    Helen, He was a very accomidating dragonfly. Glad you saw a Monarch too.

    Cameron, I looked for a long time before I bought this one. I am really happy with it. Safe travels, hope you don't get stuck on RT 95, we were 4+ hours on a trip that should have taken less than 3 on Saturday helping our daughter move into her apt. in Manassas.

  10. Hi, Janet-
    How great to see a monarch! One of our volunteers at the Garden just reported seeing a female ovipositing on one of their milkweeds.

    They may be starting to head back south.


  11. I guess Jane is more of a spring girl, and not so much a summer.

  12. Hi Lisa, how fun to see a female depositing her eggs. One of the other bloggers mentioned that the Monarchs were heading south now.

    Les, Indeed! She does have another bud about to open, maybe that one is prettier.

  13. Oh how I love the pictures of your butterflies! They are so elegant and graceful to watch! You captured them beautifully.

  14. Gotta find that grass and you have to take some to SC. Verbena bonariensis is one of my favs and nothing like a good photo op to show it off. Aren't you glad to see the monarchs? Makes the summer seem complete.

  15. Thanks Miss Daisy, I sure love watching the butterflies in the garden, pure luck on capturin them with the camera.

    Hi Anna, I agree, love the grass. VB reseeds so much that I need to keep it a bit more contained...but it is sure a butterfly magnet!

  16. Jane really look tired and after a long rest, she will come back kicking with more zest and color!!

  17. Beautiful photos. I saw a BIG dragonfly today - at least 3-4 inches long - who bumped into one of our windows. I haven't seen one that large in years. Our butterflies are not nearly as lovely as yours either...but this is the first in the last 3 years that we can recall seeing lots of butterflies around. One of them even seems to be living in/near our habanero plant!

  18. Those Monarchs are just beautiful aren't they?!

  19. simply beautifully captured shots....lovely!

  20. Janet - the blog is looking fantastic! I'm loving it!

  21. Hi Bangchik, I am surprised how much bigger Jane has grown this year....I hope she has lots of blooms in the spring.
    Hi Tiffany, wow that sounds like a biggie! It is always interesting to see the different insects when you are in other areas...or other countries.
    Hi Sweetbay, they are beautiful, you got some great photos on your blog!
    Hi flyingstars, thanks!
    Charlotte, hi! thanks for coming back!

  22. Great photos Janet. I just planted 'Jane' this year and got a couple blooms earlier in the summer. Hoping next year is better. I think it's a bonus that it blooms off and on all summer. So glad I started verbena bonariensis too ~ wish I could have just come over and plucked a couple of your self sown ones tho!! I'm envious of the dragonfly photo. I've been trying to get one to sit still for a couple days now....

  23. thanks Kathleen, Jane will take off soon! Mine has really gotten tall. The verbena is really a treat for the butterflies isn't it?


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