This is the time of year that I’m happy I dig up 80 gladioli bulbs each fall, give or take a few. In our Zone 5, if you don’t dig them up, they may survive the winter or they may not. It depends on how cold it gets each year. I don’t want to take a chance on losing that many bulbs.
I started out with only about 20 bulbs that I purchased from a local discount store, some years ago. They have multiplied to the amount I have now and seem to stay around 80 for the past few years. Maybe I am just too lazy to dig up the small ones when I have so many others already.
The pink and white ones with the dark pink throats shown above, are my favorite. Note that my favorite glad changes, depending on which one is currently blooming.
Some gladioli photos from previous years showed up on my Facebook memories today. I wonder where I planted the dark burgundy and the deep scarlet ones. I haven’t seen them yet this year. They will bloom one day soon and it will be a nice surprise to see an old friend again.
It seems that the yellow glads are the first to bloom, then the pink ones, followed by the darker ones. I have no idea why, but this seems to always be the case.
The gladioli are a bit of work but the rewards are worth it. Not only are they a vision of beauty, the butterflies and hummingbirds love them too. I sat in the garden and watched a hummingbird flit from flower to flower just tonight.
One of my favorite parts of August is the butterflies!
I have been enjoying all the butterflies and moths in our garden. They are constant visitors right now.
The most common one I am seeing is this yellow tiger swallowtail. There are often several at one time.
This is the pattern on the bottom as one feeds while hanging upside down. We also have a few monarchs but they are much more skittish. Every time I am almost close enough to snap a photo, said subject takes flight.
I also captured a photo of this little guy. I believe that he is a moth that is active during the daylight hours. I see a few of these each day. It’s wings stand up when it is at rest so I think that makes it a moth.
If you look closely, you can see a hummingbird moth in this photo. Their movement is fast and jerky like a hummingbird but they are actually a moth.
One of the things that all of these have in common is that they are drawn to our house by our butterfly bushes. We purchased the original bushes from our County Extension Office. They reseed and come up prolifically. Gladiolus and petunias are also a big draw.
These flying gems are an added bonus to our garden. They bring much enjoyment along with them.
Life sometimes blesses me in ways that I’m not expecting. For instance plants around here reseed themselves and grow in places that they shouldn’t. I intend to weed them out but often times I don’t get around to it. This is the case with a butterfly bush that took root and is growing out from between two sandstones in one of the garden beds. It is about seven feet tall now and oh how fortunate that I never pulled it out. It is bringing me much joy.
It comes by its name honestly. It definitely does draw in the butterflies. There are often several on it at once and a few different kinds too. I can go out any time during the day and see butterflies on it. What a beautiful site.
Butterflies are not the only thing this bush attracts though. It also draws in what is called a hummingbird moth. I only discovered these in recent years. At first glance it looks like a hummingbird. It is about half the size of a hummer but similar in shape and the wings move in the same manner as the bird. It also has similar brilliant colors. But this creature is a moth. Much as I like the hummingbirds, I think that I like the hummingbird moth even better. It is not as common and it is more unusual looking so it fascinates me. I will have to learn more about them because at this point all I know is that they are a cool looking moth and like the butterfly bush.
All this pleasure I get from something that was an accidental plant. Maybe it wasn’t accidental at all. One morning last weekend after standing and watching all the activity at this bush, I told my husband, “it’s a glorious morning, we must always have a butterfly bush in the walled garden”. I have learned a lesson from this. Take beauty and joy where you find them. You may happen upon them in unexpected places.