Tag Archives: butterflies

Fantastic Fennel Part One

fennel in flowerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Among the many wonderful herbs available to the gardener, no honest-to-goodness herb garden is truly complete without at least one tall, stately fennel plant.  I say that because fennel is not only edible, medicinal and downright gorgeous, but it also attracts hordes of beneficial insects and butterflies to the garden, too. What more could any gardener, cook or herbalist ask for? Continue reading

Nature Notes: Milkweed, Monarchs and You!

Close up of Purple Milkweed flowers. Copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

As a gardener and lover of nature, I garden with butterflies and beneficial insects in mind.  Yet, for all my efforts, the one North American butterfly that I have failed to lure to my garden is the bright and beautiful Monarch.  For years I thought the failure was mine, but the truth is that these icons of the butterfly world are in dire straights and their numbers are spiraling dangerously downward.  The good news is that there is something we can all do to help them – and all their colorful kin – to flourish once again.

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Sensational Sedum: Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy flowers turn a deep maroon color as fall arrives.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods and the mild sunny days are punctuated by clear blue skies and a parade of technicolor foliage.  But for most gardeners, fall usually means that the garden is beginning to look a little rough around the edges.  Because our vegetable and herb gardens surround the house the last thing we want is to let things get too ragged looking.  Over the years we have grown various perennials around the perimeter of the garden in an attempt to screen and draw attention away from the less attractive bits.  Of the many varieties we’ve grown, our fall favorite is a lusty and beautiful sedum that is appropriately named “Autumn Joy”.

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Violets and the Great Spangled Fritillary

Fritillaries on Milkweedby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I know I promised this article a couple of weeks ago, but between blackberry pickin’, the garden and seed saving classes, I just couldn’t get back to it.  But while we were up berry pickin’, we saw lots of butterflies – including the Great Spangled Fritillary.  Of course, I love all butterflies, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Fritillaries because of their softly muted-orange coloration and complex wing patterns in brown, black and silver.  I had been wanting to entice more fritillaries to the garden but wasn’t sure what to do, so you can imagine my excitement when I realized I had already done it!

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Flying Flowers: The Beauty of Butterflies

Butterfly on coreopsis. Copyright Jill Henderson - Show Me OzBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Butterflies must be one of the most beloved creatures of all time. They exist almost everywhere on the planet and their diverse forms are absolutely one of the most astounding feats of creation. In Missouri alone, there are 198 recorded species of butterfly; from the seemingly dull skipper to the fantastically impressive swallowtail. The Ozarks have enough butterflies to keep even avid butterfly lovers happy. Continue reading