Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bloomin' Tuesday

The first day of summer is not until Friday,
but you wouldn't know it by the temperatures 
and afternoon storms with which we've been frequented.
Here's what's goin' on at Maple Hill.

We spent some time with friends a block over,
and their crape myrtle trees are bloomin' big time!

While my farmer friends Faye and Lynn were away,
they asked me to water their cherry tomatoes.

Unlike full-sized tomatoes,
these beauties can be grown all summer long.

These luscious pearls are a tasty treat.
We were allowed to snag a few for our efforts.

Back at home, 
it was a great time for seed starting.

Yogurt cups and toilet paper rolls were readied for the seed.

As most of our veggies are done for the summer,
we will be planting a variety of flowers 
that don't mind the heat and humidity.

Love reusing these containers I found in someone's recycle bin.
Thanks, neighbor!

It only took a few days to get germination.

Here's one of the moonflower plants grown from seed.
These are fragrant and bloom in the evening.

The one exception to our summer slow-down
is sweet potatoes.

I'm starting a slip with a white sweet potato.
It was the only organic sweet potato I could find at the market.

I also started some basil and parsley.
Some of the parsley will be used to host caterpillars.

The beautyberry is producing tons of berries for the birds.

These green grape-like clusters
will turn a brilliant magenta.

It's been one of our goals to provide more food for wildlife.

This cutie was happy to stay still long enough for its close up.

The gloriosa daisy has come back to spend some time with us.

What a blessing.

A few of the first sunflowers are waking up.

Last year there was an absence of these cheery blooms.

Somehow, it doesn't feel like summer without them.

The rosemary and sweet potato vine 
seem to be content sharing space.

Remember the caterpillars that were found on the parsley plants
at Farm School this week?
We decided to rescue them from certain demise.
After all, 
Faye & Lynn do need to have some parsley to sell.
We happily brought them home.

We've been having a great time making a home for them.
Several were given to one of my students 
who loves the critters and all their magic.
Our past experience has been with Monarchs, which can be seen here.

They are similar in color, but have stripes instead of spots.

These are Black Swallowtails, so we are thrilled with the chance
to learn about a new type of critter.
You can see this one starting to attach itself to the netting with silk.
It is forming the curved shape, preparing to create the chrysalis.

Another attached itself to the empty lemonade container we provided.

After the chrysalis was formed, it turned this shade of brown.

You can see another cat suspended from the parsley stem.
Its chrysalis remains green, to blend in with the plant.


This lil' guy affixed itself to the top of our patio roof.
It stayed this way for a day.
I was able to capture the actual making of the chrysalis.

Watch this:

This one must have been quite content to stay put,
because it secured itself to the very parsley plant 
it had been devouring.

They are voracious eaters, 
which is why Faye and Lynn were happy to part with them 
in the first place.
Works for me...

Hope you have all kinds of fascinating things 
where you are today!

Enjoy God's bounty!



  1. What a great post!
    So glad you "re-homed" the caterpillars. I understand your friends needing to sell that parsley. What a great idea to move them instead.

  2. Boy, you still have a lot going on in your yard! The swallowtails are super cool. We raised monarchs last year, and the kids really loved it. It was a great learning experience!

    1. There is always something growing here. The opportunities for learning are all around us, no?

  3. Very neat! i'd love to see the video.

  4. What a beautiful garden. Loved the "beauty berry" -- I've never seen one!

    1. It's a native here. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Everything looks so beautiful! And the sprouts look great. Those are the neatest looking caterpillars!

  6. I love cherry tomatoes! More so than the big ones actually. It's nice that you were able to sample a few of your friends' tomatoes while watering for them. Those caterpillars are awesome! Such neat colors. Very kind of you to rescue them :)

    1. Funny, I never really cared for the cherry variety until I tasted these. So sweet.

  7. Love the Crape Myrtle Tree seeing as we do not grow them here. Lots of lovely flowers, -The Gloriosa Daisy is lovely too.

    1. I'll feature some other colors of Crape Myrtles so you can see them in future posts!

  8. Oh, I love that you rescued the caterpillars! So sweet. They are beautiful. You cracked me up with the "thanks neighbor" - too cute.

    1. Wait until you see what I had to thank my neighbor for yesterday!

  9. Love the crape myrtle, and the caterpillars! We had lots of caterpillars two summers ago, none last year. I've planted parsley and dill and ammi majus this year, so hope they come again!

  10. Wow, I loved the chrysalis video--that was fascinating. It's so cool that you saved the caterpillars. What a fun project!

    1. Good to see you Leslie! Glad you enjoyed the video. I will try to post the one of the butterflies emerging when that happens.

  11. This was a very fun post! Happy summer. The heat and humidity Have definitely arrived. My garden is harvesting tomatoes, beans, squash, and cukes.
    I use my dill to serve as hosts to the black swallowtail too. Totally cool that separated them and watched them develop.

    1. What a blessing to be able to eat out of the garden at this time of year. That's foreign to us for the most part. Enjoy!

  12. I love how the one chrysalis stayed green and the other went dark - really cool camouflage! I have fond memories of raising and hatching monarch's as a kid, your son is lucky to get to experience this :)

  13. Love your place.


    Cottage Making Mommy


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