By Jannie Vaught
I’m always eager for spring and the flush of much awaited Blue Bonnets and all the fantastic fields of flowers along with flowering trees like Red Bud and Mexican Plum, but I have to say this fall is bringing exceptional flowers. What I’m seeing now is Golden crownbeard or Cowpen daisy, Scarlet sage, and Turks cap. Along with Baby blue eyes. Not all of these are Native buy adapted wildflowers. They return every year and just need the right conditions to flower. This is usually rain and some cooler temperatures. Also blooming is Oxalis and they are showy this fall. The tall stems and pink blooms are just the surprises I needed after a very long hot and dry summer.
I am always surprised by the tenacity of bulbs and small rooted plants. Given half a chance they will resurrect when given the right conditions. You are still in the good fall planting time, turnips, beets, fava beans, garlic, mustard, kale, collards, and starts like eggplant, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, Swiss Chard. Put them in pots and bring them in. Now is a good time to plant some sections of wildflower seeds, and a special place for the bees and some Milkweed and nectar plants. The Monarch Migration is going on now through mid-October, Having food in the migratory corridor as they return to roost in Mexico is crucial for the sustainable help we can give the long-distance travelers. Some spring plants for Monarchs are. Prairie Verbena’s, purple coneflower, Blackeye Susans and Texas lantana, and Muley blue sage. For their host plant, the Best milkweeds are Antelope horn, zizotes milkweed, green milkweed. The best Fall plants Greg’s mistflower, shrubby boneset, Maximillion sunflower, fall aster, and frostweed. Some milkweeds are not readily sold and often you can have a friend share some seed with you. When you see them feeding on the flowers you have carefully provided you will know you helped them on their journey home. Also, refrain from pesticides and herbicides as this has contributed to their low population along with habitat loss. But if you have a Monarch station in your yard they will return year after year. To feed, lay eggs, transform into a pupa and emerge a full-fledged Monarch and hatch to continue on their trip.
Having experienced this wonder is a wonderful experience. There are many organizations that work on teaching about the Monarch butterfly, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is one and there are even tracking and keeping up to daily travels online.
” In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau.
Growing green and planting the seeds for tomorrow with Jannie