Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1 Million Article Views & Butterfly Mania

I'm pretty excited that my Houzz articles have reached 1 million total views, and 90% of those have happened in the last year since I went weekly. Topics have included the benefits of native plants, why to mitigate lawn and what to replace it with, gardening for bees and butterflies, design risks to take, climate change gardening, being more selfless in the landscape, how to cut down on mulch, drought tolerant shade plants, the benefits of aggressive plants, and tons of plant profiles. Link on over.

On the home front, I had a rare visitor on my Liatris ligulistylis -- for over 3 hours this queen butterfly (a male) nectared over and over on every Liatris. Their range is typically far south of Nebraska.

And I've had a ton of monarchs and swallowtails, also on the above Liatris -- what I'd do without that plant is beyond me. Every day there are at least 4 monarchs, and I'm well on my way to raising nearly 100 just a year after 5.

Hackberry emperor
Hold on a second, be right with you.
Native plants that are just about done blooming and have been covered in literal clouds of bees of all sizes, flies, wasps, moths, etc -- culver's root, boneset, and short-toothed mountain mint. Just amazing how full these plants have been. The joe pyes are set to take over the job, though, and after that goldenrod and asters. Let's hear it for timely succession gardening! Want to come over and play?

Coneflowers look good in any season.


Diana Studer said...

Congratulations! Good to know that you are reaching a new audience.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I hope I am. My facebook page Milk the Weed has also been a success. :)

Becca said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. I have been gradually, over a few years, planting more and more native flowers, e.g. prairie star, hyssop, wild bergamot, lead plant, a few different types of milkweed, etc. I've also been working on pulling the invasive plants, mostly garlic mustard. That has made a huge difference. We now have a large "hedge" of touch-me-nots that grow to three or four feet tall. We have jack-in-the-pulpits, northern bugleweed, and gooseberry. We had a lot of butterflies this past summer and gerjillions of dragonflies which my six-year old daughter loved. I love just wandering around the yard, seeing what's coming up -- what's seeding -- what's crawling around. Apart from all the moral reasons that you've covered, gardening can be very gratifying. Also frustrating -- in a good way. It has taught me to be more patient, since it often takes years to establish certain plants and have a garden that looks and feels "pulled together." It is an antidote to immediate gratification.