Tag Archives: hummingbird moth

The latest and not always greatest in the garden

Some observations from out in the garden:

This white bee balm is the only one to have survived last winter and while it is nice to see it blooming, it honestly doesn’t do much for me and the powdery mildew is real bad, worse than with all of the other bee balm. We don’t know until we try, right?

white bee balm

 

Right plant for the right location = happiness, as seen with the Physostegia (Obedient Plant) below. This first photo was taken back in May when I dug up and divided a massive batch of these and relocated them to my newly extended and very empty garden bed.

divided obedient

Two months later and they are thriving in a very wet and full sun location. I am very psyched for the massive pink display to arrive next month.

obedient vivid

 

You’ve all seen all of my numerous pics of Veronica ‘Royal Candles’ and read my raving reviews of this perennial but in the spirit of my last post and with full disclosure, here is the reality of the “legs” on these right now.

veronica bad

Fortunately, I’ve shielded most of them with other low lying plants so the blooms remain the attraction.

veronica good

 

I love how one ‘Karl Foerster’ grass (Calamagrostis) can break up a mass of perennials and not only lend a different height/uprightness, but a different texture as well.

front bed

 

I cleared this area of nasty Canada Thistle by cutting them all at soil level and not by attempting to pull out the roots like a dope which has failed me miserably for years now since it actually multiplies the number of weeds when pieces of root break off.

thistle path

I will now finally track the results properly. Here is one example of the cutting.

thistle cut

And about one week later. I’m going to now cut it back again soon and will continue to do so until it kills itself by sapping all of the plant’s energy. Or so I hope. More to come.

thistle

 

I just purchased a few ‘Delft Lace’ Astilbes solely because I fell in love with the red stems and red tinged foliage. I’ll be sure to track this one for you and hopefully I don’t fry them since you know, they need constant moisture and it is the dead of summer. Smart.

delft astilbe

 

My attempt at a path with a true destination worth visiting.

 

These purplish bee balm are incredible right now and are my favorite current place in the garden. 

planter bed 2

 

planter bed

 

bee balm 2

They are bringing in a ton of visitors. 

hummingmoth 2

 

butterfly bee balm 2

 

Check out all of the action with this video.

QOTD – Where do you purchase most of your plants? And I want specific names and locations please.

Thank you.

 

Hummingbird Moth

My absolute favorite time of the year in the garden is the beginning of summer when it is hot, the days are long and flowers are in full bloom everywhere. I like it hot. Like a lot hot. During that same time, my garden is inundated with a certain creature who happily flies from flower to flower in search of the almighty nectar. And her name is hummingbird moth.

hummingbird moth

Hummingbird moth and milkweed

Upon first glance, this moth looks and moves just like a hummingbird but upon closer inspection, it is clearly a damn handsome moth. The species that visits my garden year after year is Hemaris thysbe, also known as the hummingbird clearwing. Some facts about this hummingbird moth:

  • They hover in the air and unfurl their long tongue to sip nectar just like the hummingbird.
  • They are typically an olive and burgundy color.
  • They range from Alaska to Oregon in the west and Maine to Florida in the east. They are most commonly found in the east, typically in your standard suburban garden.
  • The caterpillars feeds off a number of different plants including Honeysuckle and Hawthorn, both of which are located on my property (who knew?)
  • They then burrow into the soil to overwinter.
  • The moth emerges in late spring with red scales which it loses upon its first flight. The wings are then transparent, hence the name “clearwing”.
  • They are most commonly seen during the heat of day in summer and most often witnessed sipping the nectar of the Bee Balm plant.
  • They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves and those eggs hatch within a week or so.

While they can be difficult to photograph due to their constant motion, I am up for the challenge each summer and enjoy spending hours following them around like an infant chasing a balloon.

Here is a hummingbird moth enjoying my phlox.

hummingbird moth

Hummingbird moth and Phlox

hummingbird moth

Hummingbird moth and phlox

hummingbird moth

Hummingbird moth and phlox

And as mentioned previously, two of them devouring the nectar of their favorite flower, Monarda (Bee Balm).

hummingbird moth

Hummingbird moth and Bee Balm

Summer cannot come soon enough.

Critter pics

A lot of “activity” going on in the garden right now:

I chased/stalked this Hummingbird Moth for what felt like hours and here are the best of the photos I was able to take:

I believe this is a Silvery checkerspot on my Mountain Mint:

And after spotting me taking their photos without permission, they tried to hide on the Ninebark. I’m still on to you dudes:

And all the rest: