Measuring up the Gardening Year

This summer has been wetter than usual, at least until August arrived. Luckily, a native garden can cope with all kinds of weather conditions. And for dry spells we have a rain barrel that provides free water.
Every year we observe new kinds of insects in our certified wildlife habitat and we never cease to admire them. Needless to say, I find many photo objects in my own backyard. Bees – especially bumble bees – are drawn to purple coneflowers, common milkweed, Joe-pye weed, and blazing star.

Unfortunately, the milkweed did not attract any monarch butterflies this year. We had noticed fewer monarchs last year, but seeing not one of them this year is very distressing.
I plant few annuals, but have always had beautiful zinnias in our flower bed. This year, however, it has been a war of rabbits vs. me, and I’m afraid the rabbits won. I even put down a fence wrapped with landscape cloth, but it was no use. The salvias I planted in their stead are beautiful. I plan on planting them again next year.

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