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Garden Blog 6/26/20

First of all, a big Hello from Ms. Marilyn! Here’s a quick summing up of things she’s seen this week/news from the butterfly garden.

She says she came by on Thursday evening and watered a couple of spots that were dry and found some interesting things:

1) A bunch of monarch eggs on the potted plants at the south end of the butterfly garden, by the rope fence! She brought the eggs home because if you leave them outside even overnight, there’s a good chance they’ll get eaten.

2) This little caterpillar, also on one of the potted milkweed plants – do you see where it is hiding?

3) This big caterpillar, on the milkweed in the main HPNC veg plot:

Marilyn has been leaving caterpillars outside because results are better when you bring them in as eggs instead and also so that kids have a chance to see them in their natural environment. The same applies to black swallowtail eggs and caterpillars — there are a ton in the Little Inspirations dill.

Sometimes kids and adults alike are disappointed when they don’t find evidence of butterflies right away. Ms. Marilyn says that, in general, throughout the eastern half of the country, things have been slow for every kind of pollinator (except that we’re booming in black swallowtails). Every garden/insect group that she’s in on Facebook is saying the same. I’m noticing it in the perennials, too — some things that usually bloom in May don’t even have buds yet! On a more hopeful note, she continues to see new milkweed plants just about every day, and they’re already very large. This has mostly been along the 55th sidewalk (under the south-facing hpnc letters) rather than in the interior butterfly garden.

We are all happy to have them in any location!

Help Needed from Summer Camp kids!!

Marilyn says she is needing some help from our summer campers! The main things she need help with are:

1) Watering

2) Removing any vines campers may see growing on plants at the front of the butterfly garden, in the raspberry bushes, or in perimeter areas. Even if the vines have pretty pink flowers on them, if they’re twining around something else, they need to go! Exception for the grapevine on the tree at the south end of the butterfly garden.

3) Pulling weeds from cracks between the bricks. Ms. Marilyn spends a few minutes on this when she visit, mainly focusing on the length of the butterfly garden, up against the wood that borders the playground. But kids – you can do this and it can be fun. Let’s see who can pull the most!

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