The Miracles of 2012
|new raised beds in kitchen garden|
January~was sunny and mild. Lots of winter blooms and early daffodils sprinkled the garden. The USDA released their new plant hardiness zone and Southern Meadows moved from zone 7b to 8a. I enrolled in the Native Plant Certificate program at Georgia State Botanical Gardens and hopefully a year from now I will have completed all the requirements.
|Edgeworthia chrysantha 'winter gold'|
|Bee diving in Camellia bloom|
February~brought springlike weather and signs that winter was winding down. Buds burst into bloom and the bees were buzzing. The cherry trees put on their usual glorious show.
|Birds nest in cherry trees|
|Daffodil in the morning|
March~was full on bloom time for all the fruit trees. The first zebra swallowtail butterfly was spotted and the chipmunks were as industrious as ever (do they ever get tired?). The sweetshrub's blooms filled the entire garden with their sweet, fruity aroma and the dogwood trees graced us with their stunning white bracts.
|lady beetle on plum trees|
|Zebra swallowtail butterfly on Heuchera|
|chipmunk in its favorite feeder|
|Male bluebird building the nest|
|Carolina chickadees almost ready to fledge|
May~brought a record number of caterpillars. We had 20 black swallowtail caterpillars hatch on one fennel plant! We saw many caterpillars hatch and butterflies fluttering around the garden.
|Black Swallowtail caterpillars on Bronze fennel|
|Banded Hairstreak, Satyrium calanus and White M Hairstreak, Parrhasius m-album|
June~was berry time...raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Lots of baby anoles scurried about the garden and the dinner plate hibiscus began to bloom.
|fresh berries from kitchen garden|
|Blue River Hibiscus|
|immature anole hiding in blueberry shrub|
July~We were gone much of July on vacation but life continued in the garden. Tomato horn worms ate away at the tomatoes but the parasitic wasp quickly found them; letting nature do its own pest control. We witnessed a Green Lynx spider capture a butterfly which was heart breaking but everyone has to eat.
|Tomato Horn Worm on Tomato Plant|
|Green Lynx Spider captured a skipper|
|First Monarch during their southern migration|
|baby toad venturing out in the garden|
|Ruby throated hummingbird (juvenile)|
|Moon & Stars watermelon|
|Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar on Partridge Pea|
|Passion vine bloom|
|Black Swallowtail caterpillar revealing its chrysalis|
|Two Monarch butterflies sharing a meal on a zinnia bloom|
|Sumac in fall colors|
|Skippers on downy aster blooms|
|view of woodland garden with fall color|
|Expired zinnia blooms|
December~We had the two Rufous hummingbirds banded that are overwintering in our garden. Winter always seems to produce the most gorgeous sunrises in our area and we enjoyed numerous mornings with coffee in hand and stunning skies. The birds were much more active at the feeders this month due to colder temperatures.
|Rufous hummingbird resting in rose shrubbery|
|sunrise view at front door|
|Nuthatch snacking at peanut feeder|