March certainly came in like a lion this year. It roared in with temperatures, in the 80s, strong buffeting winds and hit a record high of 90° yesterday.
Our poor spring flowers, like these Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane', with their delicate petals, do not last long under such conditions.
Petals need to be tough, like those of the Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum.
But it isn't just tough for the flowers. The Swallowtail caterpillars are having a tough time too. Two days ago I counted 10 tiny caterpillars on a parsley plant. Today when I looked I couldn't find any. Then on closer examination, this.
A fire ant in the act of devouring one of my babies. I quickly went over to look at the bronze fennel plant where I knew there were two caterpillars getting ready to pupate. To my horror, this.
A stink bug devouring this caterpillar. Too late to help him but at least I may have saved the other one.
Later in the day I had to rescue a blackswallowtail butterfly from the greenhouse! The things a gardener has to do.
Classic and older garden books worth seeking out
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