Planting To Attract Butterflies

I told you about how much my Grandmother loved her Pretty Boys in a previous post entitled Ma. Zinnias are an old-time favorite that have graced our yards for many years. It’s no wonder that we love them so much. They stand on short or tall sturdy stems, depending on the variety. They come in beautiful bold vibrant colors and are very easy to grow.
What I didn’t tell you is how much butterflies love Zinnias too. Plant these beauties in your yard and you will have butterflies flocking to them, literally! If you love butterflies as much as I do, this is something you will want to aim for.

I love watching them fly from one flower to another, drinking up the sweet nectar that my flowers provide for them. They look so graceful, almost as if they are gliding. I like the flutter of their wings as they zero in on their favorite meal. If you stand amongst your flowers the butterflies will fly right next to you and you can actually hear the sound of their wings.

If you are really serious about bringing butterflies to your yard plant some Lantana as well as Zinnias. I have both of these planted in my yard and I have several species of butterflies that visit regularly.

Another great tip for providing for the butterflies is to give them a place to rest and get water to drink. You can try making your own or purchase one like this.


Weeding… Ugh!

Weeds In Vegetable Garden

Phew! I finished a huge weed pulling job in the vegetable garden. Fortunately we got about 1/2 inch of rain last evening so that made it a little easier. These summer days in the south can be brutal with the high heat and humidity so I got outside pretty early in the morning. Before I finished the job it was getting pretty hot though.

My advice to you is not to let those weeds take hold like I did. My task was long overdue. Like I said before, sometimes life happens and you just don’t get things done exactly when they need to be done.

My husband and I don’t use herbicides in the vegetable garden. I recommend hand pulling or digging around the plants to get those weeds. Of course you can always use a roto tiller between the rows.

I do use a herbicide in my flower beds. You just have to be very careful about where you spray because the weed killer doesn’t know the difference between your pretty flowering plants and the weeds. Always read the directions very carefully before using them. The one that we like to use is Roundup Quik PRO. It is a bit pricey but we think it’s worth it because we have a lot of weeds to kill! It does a very good job of killing the majority of those weeds. I will admit though that some weeds are really tough and may require additional spraying. At least this way you can stop them from completely taking over your beautiful flower beds. We mix the Roundup and put it in a backpack sprayer. This make this job much easier than trying to use a bottle to spray them with.

 

Ma

My first bit of exposure to flower gardening came by way of my maternal grandmother, (Ma). She was an elderly country woman with no formal education but she loved growing flowers. What she lacked in education she made up in experience. She was a very hard working woman.

I used to follow her around in her garden as she lovingly attended her flowers. She would carry around a bucket of water and a “tin” can and give each plant it’s own bit of special attention. As we walked along she would tell me what kind of flowers they were . She didn’t know the scientific names for them but she knew what they were. For instance, I remember her showing me her tall Zinnias, with their bright beautiful flower heads and saying, “This is my Pretty Boys”.

This is something that has always stuck in my mind even when I didn’t know how much I loved gardening. Had I known how much this experience meant to me, I probably would have gone to school and pursued a degree in horticulture. I don’t have that education but I do have my grandmother’s love for flowers and my own love and experience.

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*Quick Tip*

There is still time to grow Zinnias this year if you live in an area where you have a late frost. Simply sow the seeds in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Follow the directions on the seed pack for best results. They make excellent cut flowers, so enjoy!

You Can Buy Your Zinnia Seeds Here

My Passion For Gardening

I have heard it said that you should blog about the things that you are passionate about. What is the one thing that you could just go on and on talking about? The answer that I always come up with is gardening.
While I was growing up there were always people who were gardening around me. My parents and grandparents grew most of their own food. Both of my grandmothers like growing flowers. I could see my paternal grandfather working in his vegetable garden no matter how hot it was outside. It was hard work but those vegetables and melons sure tasted good!

This is the time of year when I shine. I have a genuine love of plants and flowers. It makes me happy to see my flower buds appear and then when they burst forth with their new flowers I could sing!

I love the brilliant colors of the leaves in the fall and the beautiful decorations during the Christmas season but nothing warms my heart like the beauty of plants and flowers.

I would like to take some of the knowledge that I have gained by trial and error and use it to enrich your life and your garden.
Sometimes people tell me that they can’t grow anything; that they “kill” everything. I tell them that it helps if you have a love of plants. When I first really started gardening I read lots of books on the subject.

I don’t always get to garden as much as I want to because of life’s circumstances but gardening is never very far away from my mind.

Try your hand at gardening today.

I welcome your questions and comments. I don’t have a degree on the subject but I have lots of experience. If I don’t have the answer I will try to find it for you.
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