Happy Holidays!




Please enjoy this original music from The Boys from Carolina.


Dobro and vocals: Chuck Schutte
Mandolin and vocals: Wright Young
Standup Bass: Richard Roach (my husband)
Guitar and vocals: Larry Nunnery
Banjo: Bob Wilkerson


Happy Holidays!
Freda, Richard, Garrett and Chris


Video by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.  

Time to Sow Fall Seeds for Spring Flowers

Seeds of larkspur, cornflowers, poppies, nigella and flax
are sown in the fall for spring and summer blooms.

As I walked around the garden, I saw the self-sowing annuals for next spring had already sprouted. It is time to think about sowing annuals for spring blooms.

I like to wait until we've had a killing frost before sowing my seeds. There is a frost in the forecast for this weekend. The frost kills back weeds. I pull out the weeds, then apply a mix of organic compost and soil around perennials. The layer provides good insulation and nourishment for the perennials while serving as a good medium for seeds.

My success rate with sowing both perennials and annuals from seeds has been encouraging and it is less expensive than buying plants in the spring. Some perennials, such as flax, coneflowers and rudbeckia, will bloom next year, but the plants may be small during the first year.

The nigella (Love-in-a-Mist) sprouts are everywhere! I collected seeds and let hundreds fall to the ground. I believe every seed must have germinated!  I'll never have to sow nigella again. (Some of you are on my list and I'll soon mail the seeds.)  Nigella can be sown almost anytime through spring as long as the ground isn't frozen. The plants and blooms have been reliably deer and rabbit resistant in my garden.

Nigella damascena 'Miss Jekyll Blue'
Other impressive flowers from seeds include poppies. The self-sowing California poppies (eschscholzia californica) repeated blooms so often through the summer that I've decided to forgo all other varieties. I will focus on thicker mass plantings of 'Purple Gleam'. I like the soft fern-like foliage, too. These short plants are great fillers among perennials, taking up so little space that they are easy to broadcast around the garden.

The perennial flax 'Heavenly Blue' (linum narbonense) was so beautiful that I collected seeds from my 2010 plants and also ordered more seeds to be sure to have more for 2011. The foliage is still green in my garden and I hope those plants will over-winter. Some self-sown seeds in summer are also sprouting for next year. So impressed with the blue flax, I purchased seeds of scarlet annual flax, linum grandiflorum rubrum and seeds of the perennial compact golden flax, linum flavum compactum.

Of course, my all-time favorite spring flower has to be larkspur. I can't have too much!


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Parlez-vous Fran├žais?

I must THINK before I speak French.
I have a grand plan to practice and learn more of the French language since France has become our annual vacation location. I have repeated this plan for the last few years, but haven't made sufficient progress.

I really need to improve my command of the language. Seriously. It's time.

With only five months until the next trip, I am setting goals to increase my vocabulary, improve my conjugation of verbs and my ability to converse. I'm also listening to many of the songs of the late Edith Piaf (La Vie En Rose fame) to make this task more enjoyable.

Languages are tedious to learn. I'm easily distracted.

My education included four years of French. Taught by a US Southern lady. Drawl and all! Not so good. Humorous, in fact. Slow and drawn-out syllables.

My pronunciation is an embarrassment when I speak, but I have found that making the effort is truly rewarding. The French appear to forgive me (and probably laugh when I leave) as long as I use these magic words:

Bonjour (madame, mademoiselle or monsieur). Always say hello.
S'il vous plait. Please.
Merci. Thank you.
Au revoir. Goodbye.

Those four years of classes were rather academic and severely lacked conversational training. I read French better than I speak it. I understand it better than I speak it. However, I cannot put answers together very quickly. I have to think about it awhile—too long!

My husband with his four years of the language, doesn't understand the spoken fast-French.  But, he is very skilled at constructing sentences rather quickly.

Much to the amusement of the French—our interactions go something like this:

  • I order our food or ask a question in my pre-planned French.
  • I mostly understand the French reply.
  • I translate to my husband in English.
  • He answers in French. 

This causes some confusion about our American culture or maybe our marriage. It seems that, as a woman, I must not be allowed to reply! Honestly, my husband is not a male chauvinist at all.

Separately, we cannot function with the language. Together, we are one! C'est lui pour moi. Moi pour lui. (He's for me. I'm for him.)


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.

Pink and Purple Prevail

Pink mums perk up the garden for the third year.

Autumn hasn't arrived, so the world isn't yet shades of orange, russet and red. The late blooms are all about pink and purple.

The cottage garden is hanging on with blooms of mums, zinnias and autumn sage. With no frost so far, the bloom season suddenly improved after the last rainfall.

The garden mums are now in the third year. I simply divide the mother plants when they get too large. I plant out the offspring and those are bloom in their first season.  The foliage remains evergreen here in zone 7b. I pinch back the plants until the July 4th to create a mounding shape, loaded with autumn blooms.



Zinnias are still fabulous.
The butterflies and bees are grateful for the nectar!

The Monarch butterflies reared in my garden were grateful for these late zinnia blooms. Six Monarchs recently emerged in one day! It was delightful to see all six sipping from the zinnias. I am glad that I hadn't pulled out the tall, lanky annuals. There are still so many buds left to open.

I planted zinnia seeds from May through July to keep the blooms coming. These are also wonderful cut flowers. The more I cut, the more branching and blooms. A great investment for a few dollars in seeds.

Benary's Giant Zinnias continue with robust blooms.

Different shades of pink and purple dot all of my gardens as the salvia greggii varieties are putting on a spectacular show. However, they are difficult to photograph—even in all their glory!

The greggii varieties might not do well in the cold zones, but for zones 7-9, they are great xeric plants that bloom profusely in spring and again in autumn. The hummingbirds rely upon these early and late blooms as a food source. Good companions include sedum and stachys.

The forest leaves haven't yet turned. We're still having warm days, but the mornings are noticeably cooler. Until the first frosts, I'm happy to enjoy the pinks and purples.


Just one of many salvia colors.
This is salvia greggii 'Diane'.
Salvia greggii 'Ultra Violet'.



Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Geranium 'Rozanne' Update

Geranium 'Rozanne' blooms and foliage
work well below roses and coneflowers
June 16 2010

"In the third year it leaps" is an appropriate description for the growth habit of perennial geranium 'Rozanne'. The first two years of growth were not that impressive and I had to protect the plants from rabbits. It is now October, and 'Rozanne' continues to bloom, though not quite as heavy as in June. I'm now convinced that I want to keep this perennial going—and if I had more space, I wouldn't hesitate to grow it—rabbits be darned!

With a bit of supplemental water through our driest and hottest months, 'Rozanne' never looked unhappy for more than a day. I cut back the geranium whenever she gets too long and leggy. This keeps the mounding shape in check and encourages more flowers.

Cranesbill geranium 'Rozanne' can be grown in zones 5-8 in full sun or part sun. I have to provide a bit of afternoon shade here in the hot south by growing it below my roses and coneflowers. The mounding (if shaped) habit is 12-15 inches in height and width. Left unchecked, it can sprawl several feet in every direction. 'Rozanne' is an introduction from Blooms of Bressingham® Nursery.

Geranium 'Rozanne'
with spires of salvia 'Victoria Blue'
August 2010

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Blogging Friends

Helen, Freda and Carolyn Gail

Carolyn Choi from Sweet Home and Garden Chicago, Helen Yoest from Gardening with Confidence™ and I had a wonderful lunch together. We met at a local restaurant and took our time visiting and chatting.

It was wonderful to meet Carolyn as well as see Helen again.

Speaking of Helen, if you are going to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, October 14-24, be sure to visit the garden exhibits. Take special note of the Raleigh Garden Club's exhibit where Helen, and other members of the garden club, have supposedly worked their magic with moss!

After lunch, Helen and her children had to head home, so I took Carolyn to Duke Gardens in Durham. A very pleasant day for our outing! She certainly impressed me with her knowledge of ornamental trees—and speaking Korean to a family that we encountered in the gardens!

So much fun!


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.  

Answers to Recent Questions from Readers

I am frequently asked for the house paint colors!
Although I try to answer questions sent to me by email, I have a backlog lately due to other distractions. Here are a few recent questions with the answers.

  1. What is the exterior paint color used on your house? I still receive this question quite often due to my past participation on the GardenWeb forums. The sage-gray body color with off-white trim is a custom mix and I posted the formula here: House Paint Colors. A reader who saw the story about my deer resistant garden in the July 2010 issue of Southern Living Magazine even wanted to know the house plan! While the outside looks similar to the plan, I completely redesigned the interior of our house so that it bears little resemblance to the original plan.
  2. Do deer eat zinnias? The deer tend to leave my zinnias alone until August, when food is scarce. Once they have little food, they will eat the zinnias. I grow Benary's Giant variety. The rabbits, on the other hand, will take down the four-foot high plants, at any time, as though they are cutting down trees!
  3. How to Grow Lavender? This is a frequent question and an excellent story, written by local lavender farmer, Annie Greer Baggett, provides the best information. Annie wrote the story for my blog and I keep it linked in the left sidebar under "Reader Favorites".
  4. Companion plants for rose campion? After lavender, I receive many questions and blog searches for information on rose campion (lychnis coronaria).This flower is a self-sowing annual and will winter over as a perennial/biennial in warmer zones. I like to use yarrow (achillea 'Pomegranate'), big lamb's ears, and autumn sage (salvia greggii), nepeta and Spanish Lavender as companions. Larkspur, poppies and cornflowers—self-sowing annuals also look good with, and bloom at the same time, as rose campion. 

There are links in the left side bar to BLOG PAGES of popular topics which will also answer many of the search terms/keyword searches on my blog. I created these pages for my own record-keeping as well and make updates from time-to-time.

Flowers from Seeds:  Flowers that I grow from seeds (with bloom photos).

Deer Resistant Plants: I try to update this list as the information changes and when I add new plants. Your results may vary from my results.

Rabbit Resistant Plants: By far, rabbits do more damage in my garden than deer.

Agastache Garden Plan: This is a labeled planting plan (photo) with a grouping of some of my favorite agastache varieties. I have more favorites, such as agastache 'Cotton Candy' that is not shown on this plan.

Monet's Gardens and Paris: This is a page with links to all the stories (with many photos) that I wrote about our visit to Paris and Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France in May 2009.

Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Ninety Days over 90 Degrees

If this is the weather pattern of the future, then I need to rethink my garden. It was 96°F  yesterday and will be 95 today.

2010 has set a record of ninety days with temperatures over 90°F. There has been virtually no rain in September (0.13 inches of rainfall).

Between the heat and drought, it is looking grim. Worse than grim, my garden looks downright bad. I cannot water it enough to keep it going. Rather than expand the garden this year or next, I think I will have to group the survivors together and make it less garden to maintain.

The drought has brought out the rabbits and the deer, foraging for food wherever they can find it. The rabbits are doing more damage as they cut down 4-foot high zinnias like little lumberjacks. I see blooms going down, and I find rabbits munching! The rabbits are even after the leaves on some salvias, such as nemorosa and guaranitica varieties.

The deer are eating the swamp sunflower, but I knew they would based upon past years. They left the zinnias alone until the last week, but the rabbits had already ruined the mass plantings. With no food in the wild, they will eat zinnias. I can't begrudge them this, given that they are all so hungry.

Fortunately, I planted a few annual purple fountain grasses this spring to perk up the agastache and salvia greggii groupings for fall. Without the grasses, it would really be a dull garden right now!

The last time I took a garden photo
September 10, 2010

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Farewell to a Sweet Friend

Won By Her Wits
"Charm"
American Greyhound
February 3, 1999 - September 22, 2010
Charm and Richard
September 2009
...during the days that we almost lost her.
She made it another full year. She didn't give up!

Charm made her own racetrack in our meadow

Charm and Chris-- it turned out to be a farewell for them.
August 2010
Charm
will always be my "gardening greyhound"

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our sweet Charm today. She bravely fought four years of kidney disease and we kept her going as long as we could with home-cooked meals, medication and lots of love. However, medication could not provide relief from the unbearable pain of bone cancer that she suffered the last few weeks. 

Charm was a retired racing greyhound named Won By Her Wits. We adopted her from Project Racing Home in Randleman, North Carolina in 2003. Carrboro Plaza Veterinary Clinic, especially Dr. Mary Snyder, provided her with the very best care. 

We cannot say enough good things about Charm and the experience of owning a greyhound. She was a very special dog and we'll always remember her.  She is laid to rest overlooking the butterfly garden, between the trees that she used as her racetrack turn. Every morning until the last few days, she walked through the garden with us. We would tell her "Charm, want to promenade" and she always followed along the garden paths, never ever digging up a plant. She did stop and smell the flowers.  

We'll miss her. 
Freda, Richard, Chris and Garrett

Sedum Tips: All Grown Up and Blooming

Sedum 'Green Expectations' grown up.
This was just a tip off the old plant in 2009.
Buy one. Make more. Sedum keeps on giving and giving. In June 2009, I wrote about pinching back the tips of tall sedum to make more plants while keeping the mother plant sturdy and shaped. Those tiny tips are now mature and blooming for early autumn.

A tip taken from
last year's tip!
Of the three sedum varieties that I pinched back, 'Green Expectations' has performed the best in one year. So well, that I have also pinched the tips of the new plants this year!

I actually use my pruners to make a clean cut, remove the bottom leaves and just stick the cuttings straight into garden soil.

The sedum performs best in drier soil and full sun, though they do well with afternoon shade. Choose companions that also work in the same conditions.

I grow sedum with salvia, perennial heliotrope, lavender, four o'clocks, agastache and purple heart.

The good news is that the rabbits leave the tall, blooming sedum alone, so I can grow these quite well inside the cottage garden fence. The bad news is that deer will probably eat the blooms, just when you are ready to enjoy the plant. Late summer and early fall is prime time for the deer to forage for food in flower gardens as the wild vegetation diminishes. Plants that deer ignore all summer may be more interesting in early autumn.

My 'Purple Emperor' sedum tips are doing well, but are not maturing as quickly as the 'Green Expecations'. I have blooms on only one of seven tips that I started in 2009. Sedum 'Bekka' has not done well in the summer humidity.

I would happily add more sedum varieties if I had the space! These are economical and carefree plants to fill a sunny garden.

Sedum 'Green Expectations'
with deep pink Four O'Clocks and
lavender-blue perennial heliotrope 'Azure Skies'
Sedum 'Green Expectations'
with salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
with gaillardia 'Grape Sensation' and foliage
of cottage pinks (dianthus)

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

The Bush that Devoured the House

Lady Banks rose blooms
yellow in spring.
April 2010
A vine-covered cottage is such a romantic notion. Cedar shakes. A stone chimney. A garden gate canopy of blooms. I love the look, but is it practical?

All went well for four years. In the fifth year, the Lady Banksia Rose bush (a branching, not climbing rose) had shot up over thirty feet to the top of the gable and was trying to take over the upstairs window and chimney.

One would think a house safe from a non-climbing bush. Not so. The branches were undermining the cedar shakes on the house!

It had to go. The yellow blooms lasted only a few weeks each spring. Not much reward for the flowers, but I like the greenery branching over the top of the gable gate trellis.

My husband and I worked for a few hours to remove the bush. He started upstairs, reaching out the window to try to pull and cut branches that were under the eaves and latched onto the stone chimney. Our ladder doesn't reach those towering heights and a few remnants are still stuck on the house! Hopefully, they'll wither and die and not take root!

This is the second Lady Banks that we've removed in two years. Our landscaper planted one by the front garden gate and this one by the gable gate. Both were too damaging. Besides the cedar shake damage, the roots were pushing the stone corner columns and upsetting the fence and pathways as well.

I don't know if I'll plant another climbing perennial, but I want something to crawl over the top of the trellis above the garden gate in the summer months. Annual vines?

I need a vine that won't grow up under the cedar shakes, but will decorate the once-again bare trellis above the garden gate.

Clematis, but not the large Autumn Clematis, may be practical enough—perennial vines that are cut back each year, rather than evergreen that would climb and attach to the house once again.

Any ideas?

Lady Banks growing up over the window
and reaching for the chimney.
June 2010
Lady Banks gone and the trellis
is bare.
September 2010


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel

Variegated Obedient Plant

Variegated obedient plant
(physotegia virginiana)
Obedient plant is one of those perennials that has a reputation for spreading aggressively in a garden. I wish!

For three years, I have waited and waited for variegated obedient plant (physotegia virginiana) to create a mass planting. I have three blooms on one clump and one bloom on another clump; no blooms on a third clump.

The variegated foliage is much appreciated in the deer resistant garden, though the deer will definitely eat this plant if they are hungry enough.  At least they allowed me the opportunity to see the beautiful blooms this year, which only makes me want more obedient plant!

According to my research, obedient plant can be grown in zones 2-9, which makes it sound very hardy. The seeds on this variegated variety are sterile, so it does not self-sow.

Last fall, I moved the plants to the part shade of butterfly bushes. That seems to have helped with the blooms, but it probably does well in full sun in cooler zones.

I've not had to stake the 36" high plants. They are narrow enough to fit in among my amsonia hubrichtii with perennial ageratum at the base. Good combinations as the amsonia foliage provides a lovely lush green backdrop until autumn, when it turns a brilliant gold. The buttons of lavender-blue ageratum bloom in late summer and blend well with these spires of lavender.

Do you grow any varieties of obedient plant? Is it behaving or misbehaving in your garden?



Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

A Japanese Garden; Can You Guess the Movie?

Japanese Garden
Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens
Pasadena, California
The opening scene in a WWII war movie was filmed in this Japanese Garden. In the movie, the setting is Japan and the bridge is painted red. At the time that I took this photo in January 2010, I didn't make the connection. While watching this movie again today, I immediately recognized the garden. An all-star cast includes Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Hal Holbrook, Glenn Ford, James Coburn, Robert Wagner and Charlton Heston—and other popular actors at the time. Can you guess the movie?

The Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit while in the Los Angeles area. Located in Pasadena, California, it is worth a day trip to explore the collections, indoors and out. In addition to the Japanese Garden, other themed gardens include: Australian, Camellia, Children's, Chinese, Desert, Herb, Rose, Shakespearean and the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science. If you are fan of bonsai, there is an impressive display!

The Japanese Garden is one of the most beautiful that I've ever seen and I was there in winter. I'm sure it is even more spectacular when the apricot, cherry, peach and plum trees are in bloom.

Japanese Garden
January 10, 2010

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

A Delicious Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtle 'White Chocolate'
in August 2010
A scorching summer doesn't deter the blooms of crepe myrtle, a "go-to" tree for southern gardeners. There are three varieties of crepe (crape) myrtle in my garden, but 'White Chocolate' is my favorite for mixing with perennials.

I stumbled upon this unusual variety in 2006. This year, the blooms are fabulous and have been going strong for a month.

'White Chocolate' is a cultivar selected by Dr. Michael Dirr, University of Georgia, Athens. Rated for zones 7-9, this is a moderate grower to 8 feet high and wide.

Although 'White Chocolate' is a difficult crepe myrtle cultivar to find, it is listed with Monrovia. (Their website allows you to search for garden centers in your area that carry their brand.)

Once established, this tree is drought-tolerant. It is also deer resistant. Japanese Beetles will chew on any crepe myrtle, but the damage is less as the trees grow larger.

The dark burgundy foliage of 'White Chocolate' is especially beautiful when it first emerges in the spring. As the season progresses, it is more bronze-burgundy, but never fades in the strong sunlight. The autumn color is brilliant and in winter, the bark is interesting. The summer blooms are white, but the burgundy and pink tones make it a good color to use with pink or blue blooms of perennials such as agastache, nepeta, echinops and caryopteris.

I shape 'White Chocolate' like a shrub instead of a tree, but pruning must be done with careful consideration—as with all crepe myrtles, you take responsibility when you grow one of these lovely trees, so please don't commit crepe murder!


Crepe myrtle 'White Chocolate'
behind agastache 'Salmon & Pink'

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

I'm Cute and Fearless

I love to eat blazing star leaves.
Here I am, nibbling on the blazing star (liatris ligulistylis) while posing for my photo. This wildflower, blazing star, is a favorite nectar flower for Monarch butterflies. I think the leaves are yummy.

I live in Cameron's deer resistant garden. I'm so cute and I hide out beneath the amsonia, monarda and agastache that is planted so thickly, Cameron can't run me out. There's always a place for me to hide.

There's another perennial that I love to eat so much. It was blooming all summer, but now, linaria 'Canon J. Went' is nothing but stubs. Those pretty little pink snapdragon-shaped blooms are all gone. I have such a voracious appetite that I finished off the entire plant in three nights!

Cameron caught me munching on a coneflower leaf. She asked me not to do that anymore or she'll spray bunny repellent on all the coneflower leaves. That stuff really tastes yucky, so I'm going to have to be really sneaky and just eat the coneflower leaves that she won't notice. She has so many rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' that I'm able to eat those leaves without making her mad.

Although I live out in the deer resistant garden where there are a lot of plants that I don't eat (agastache, salvia, milkweed, joe pye weed, ironweed, amsonia, monarda, perennial heliotrope and coreopsis—to name a few), I do sneak into the cottage garden to see if I can reach the garden phlox.

I trampled some sedum tips the other day. That didn't go over very well with the gardener. Cameron had just planted those tips and I walked all over them so that I could eat a perennial that she calls "wine cups." It had been planted in the cottage garden, right beside the path. She moved it a few weeks ago to hide it from me. I thought it was a game of hide-and-seek. I found it behind those sedum tips and I just had to eat it again. I won the game!

I would really like to be a pet. Cameron and Charm walk through the garden every morning. I try to follow along, but they pretend to chase me off. I've managed to go up and sniff Cameron's shoes, but she isn't amused by my cuteness. She says I'm a wild animal and people shouldn't touch me.

I'm so cute, but I've been told that
people shouldn't touch me.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. 

Cat Tricks

A Black Swallowtail caterpillar (cat) munches on bronze fennel
to prepare for the great metamorphosis.
The opening act for the magic trick.
Notice the attachment to the stem and the shape of the cat.
Ta-da! Chrysalis (two) on clumping bamboo.
The best count of Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars has been around 20. Today, there are at least nine chrysalis on the neighboring clumping bamboo or on the bronze fennel itself. Soon, there will be lots of butterflies!

Each photo above is of a different cat. Caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly—all stages of metamorphosis in the garden this week.

Please take a look at Randy Emmitt's website for great educational photos and identification of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Although I have many BST cats, I seem to always photograph the similar Pipevine, "dark form" of Eastern Tiger or the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies—but, I never see those cats!


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

GGW "On the Road" Photo: Monet's Garden

Deciding which photo of Monet's Garden to use for the Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest for August 2010 was difficult. A view of Monet's house, as well as the mix of flowers, reminds me of the Impressionist's paintings.

The photo was taken on a cloudy day in May 2009 in the Clos Normand (walled garden) section of Monet's Garden in Giverny, France.



Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

Agastache for August Blooms

Agastache for August color. There are at least
six varieties in this photo and multiples of those.
The hottest summer on record may also end up as one of the most colorful. The drought-tolerant agastache, the primary perennials in my garden are turning out a stellar performance! Recent rains revived the garden, making this the most colorful August yet for the deer resistant garden, established in 2007.

Labeled as agastache 'Black Adder' but it looks
a lot like 'Purple Haze' which I also grow. Zones 6-9.
Agastache 'Heatwave' lives up to its name.
(background includes purple fountain grass
and foliage of perennial blue flax). Zones 5-10.
Agastache 'Salmon & Pink' is my oldest variety that
started out in the cottage garden in 2005.
It rules the deer resistant garden. Zones 6-10.
Agastache 'Blue Fortune' held on to its color
better this year. Could it be that it liked
the supplemental watering? Or, has it matured? Zones 5-9.
Agastache 'Summer Love' plants provided by
Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. Zones 6-9.
Agastache 'Cotton Candy' has been in bloom since April.
Plants provided by Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. Zones 6-9.
In other areas of the garden, I grow 'Golden Jubilee', 'Navajo Sunset', 'Summer Sky', 'Heather Queen', 'Purple Pygmy', 'Summer Glow' and 'Coronado'. I may have even forgotten at least one! Deer, rabbit and disease resistant and drought tolerant. Loved by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds—It doesn't get any better in the heat of summer in full sun.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

What Butterflies Want

Joe Pye Weed 'Little Joe' (eupatorium dubium)
Fluttering and floating—the garden is full of life with butterflies. It's a delightful experience to walk through a garden and be brushed on the cheek by soft wings. Although I'm using swallowtails for my photos, there are many more varieties in the garden.

For a butterfly garden, success is guaranteed if you include agastache, cosmos, joe pye weed, milkweed, butterfly bushes, lantana, salvia and zinnias. There are many other nectar and host plants for butterflies, but these are the favorites in my garden.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune' is a favorite, attracting
many butterflies as well as Gold Finches and bees.
Agastache 'Cotton Candy' is proving
to be as popular as 'Blue Fortune' with me and
the butterflies!
Agastache 'Heat Wave', with tubular blooms
is also loved by hummingbirds.
Bog sage (salvia uliginosa) is great for
moist areas in the garden, but can handle drought.
Another hummingbird favorite, too.
Butterfly bush 'Honeycomb' (buddleia)
is one of twenty in my garden. 'Adonis Blue', 'Pink Delight'
and 'Royal Red' buddleia are also wonderful.
Comos sulphureus, an annual grown from seeds.
I also grow cosmos bipinnatus in pink, white and deep rose.
Lantana, an unknown pink-yellow variety that is
a perennial in my zone 7b garden. I also grow the orange-gold 'Miss Huff'.
Benary's Giant Zinnia in salmon. Easy to grow from seed.
I have many different colors of zinnias and the
salmon looks great with lime green blooms.
My bronze butterfly marks a patch of pink swamp milkweed,
joe pye weed and ironweed.
Milkweed is the host plant for Monarch butterflies.


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
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