Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Zinnia In The Garden, Butterflies All Day
The chair I sit in looks out the front window. In fact I refuse to use my perfectly acceptable desk in the back of the house because I find sitting out front to be much more entertaining.
I do know that I can propagate that same Milkweed if I really did want to. It is very leggy right now, having grown between the Croton and Screw Palm out there and having been cropped back by successive squadrons of Monarch that float on the breezes. Those squadrons are why the plants are where they are. I had hoped I would be able to get some more leaves on the things before they were discovered but Milkweed is not exactly a beautiful plant.
So one day I was Online Shopping. I needed an item to get the price over the free shipping barrier and I refuse to pay for shipping if I can actually get something that I want for the expense. I flashed on my own childhood habit of growing flowers in the front garden. Sunflowers were the first though but I have had bad luck with them here in South Florida. Oh sure, I could grow dinner plate sized blooms in the back yard in Pennsylvania, but down here they’re the size of a Daisy. I will try again when the weather is cooler, I think it could easily be something like the heat forcing them to rush to bloom so you end up with smaller flowers.
Having rejected the sunflowers, I hit upon another childhood favorite. Zinnia. Looking for a write up on the things, it turns out that Zinnia are a warm climate plant from the southwest US and Neighboring Mexico (¡Bienvenidos Vecinos!) even if I could grow them in New Jersey, and did. Day glow colors would look great in the garden and, bonus, they drew butterflies.
I step onto the porch in the morning before the Furnace in the Sky ramped up from annoying to full on Hades and I am bombarded by butterflies. Not just my favorite orange Monarchs but Swallowtails, Zebrawings, and others. All day long they come by, land on the Zinnia for a meal, and seek the sad little Milkweed to leave an egg or ten.
As a good High School and College friend Jim would say with a shrug, “Well, that is what they are there for”! I guess it took all these years for me to get the same kind of an attitude.
So as I do know how to propagate Milkweed, and I still have some Zinnia seeds left, I’m blessed with a task. I will be planting some more seeds today. I am enjoying the natural show.
All I really do need to do is to wait for things to bloom because if I plant it, they do indeed come. If they come, I will watch.