It is time to take stock of the successes and failures of gardening year 2010.
The winners are: Zinnias. Even though the first growth was eaten by rabbits the zinnias made a nice comeback and are clear favorites with insects. Whether they’re cabbage, eastern tiger swallowtail, black swallowtail, or monarch butterflies, or bumblebees, they make a bee line (pun intended) to the zinnias and ignore every other annual on our flower island.
It’s a tie between common milkweed/butterfly weed and Joe-pye weed. Besides the fact that milkweeds are the only host plant for monarch butterfly larvae, they are also very popular with insects. During their bloom they were literally covered with flying objects all day long.
Our Joe-pye weed (a cultivar named ‘Little Joe’) has grown much taller than last year. It is, in fact, taller than me. It enjoys a long blooming season and is a great draw for insects. And it doesn’t look like a weed at all.