Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Boys of Late Summer

Count yourself lucky to be outside as the sun dances and shines its spotlight about a garden~~ This time of the day, especially, this time of year, the sun seem to highlight a flower here or there before it quickly disappears behind the trees.

So, I'd run outside to catch the last of the sun as it began its descent.
To take a few photos of the Garden to share with you...
Photos that weren't of the Susans!
A flower or shrub in another color;
besides yellow!
But, something distracted me.
Something was different?
What was it? Ahh!

There it was.
Not the photo opportunity I sought,
but, the merest scent of anise on the breeze!

Had I brushed against the fennel and released that marvelous fragrance?
No, I couldn't have.
The fennel is in the middle of the bed, where taller plants reside.
You know don't you!
It could only mean one thing!

The boys of late summer were back!
Go here to read my post~ it's everything you ever wanted to know about them!
Chomping away, releasing the best perfume this gardener has smelled all week!

Welcome back!
I've been looking for you!


~and I'd like to wish the happiest of birthdays to my son~~He really is my favorite boy of late summer! M, you are a wonderful son and you continue to make your mamma proud! xxoo

By the way, that's Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpurescens' that the Swallowtail cat is chomping on! It's a preferred host food for swallowtail caterpillars, but is also visited by butterflies and bees. Bronze fennel looks fantastic in the garden before it is chomped to nothing! So plant a swath of it! You'll have enough to cook with, pretty up the garden and share with the critters. g


  1. A very big happy birthday to favorite boy M! Your mother does indeed think you are the best of the bestest, the most of the mostest! Dear Gail, enjoy him and the boys on the fennel as well. Our boys have not been spotted, yet, but hopes are high. :-)

  2. Happy birthday, M.!

    Gail, don't you feel as if you've received a gift when you see those boys of summer? I know I do. I'm still looking . . . . .

  3. Happy Birthday to your favorite Boy of late summer. We have monarch and sulphur caterpillars that I will be posting in a bit..

  4. Gail girl !!
    Happy Happy Birthday to your "boy" ..
    no matter how old they get they are "boys" to us : )
    I just saw the TES picture of your sidebar now ? .. it is looking very good there girl : )
    We will be having some cooler weather finally and I have to make notes on what I need to do in the garden next year .. I always forget all the great ideas I think I have each season ? Why I think I can remember them is beyond me .. haha .. perfect season is coming up and I have a huge grin on my face : ) see? LOL

  5. A very happy birthday to your son!

  6. I haven't found any of the boys as yet. I hope we do. It seems that butterflies have been few and far between this summer. I like seeing the fungus too. Aren't they the most interesting things?? So many colors, shapes, sizes...

  7. I can't wait to smell the fennel -- guess I have to wait til next year as this is the first year I planted it. My caterpillars found it over the weekend so it will be gone shortly.
    Happy Birthday to your son. August babies are some of the best!

  8. Hey you guys! Thanks for visiting and leaving such nice comments. Speaking of comments~~ I have been thinking how pleasant it would be to be able to comment directly back like Typepad and Wordpress bloggers can...I wonder why some enterprising programer hasn't added that trick to blogger.com.

    I am too excited...my sweet boy is coming home for a visit this week and we will be able to celebrate his birthday then.

    I hope you all have the best day!


  9. Happy Birthday to your son! We're celebrating my daughter's birthday this week too. Thursday is hers. It was a perfect weekend wasn't it? 70's in August, who would have thought it possible?

  10. Happy Birthday, M. Hope your birthday wish comes true.

    Hi Gail, ah, the wiggly boys of summer. A very nice fat one too. I planted bronze fennel for the first time this year. I like it a lot but so far no caterpillars. Hope it self seeds like everyone claims.

  11. I love the smell of fennel! I have it all over the back corner of the yard and so far no cats; I'm not seeing the black swallowtails either. We're having very few butterflies this year.

  12. I had swallowtail cats weeks and weeks before the monarchs came in mid July. Now I have just a very few swallowtails left and the monarchs are here in droves preparing the final generation. Where did summer go? I mean seriously--2nd year with a garden and if it gets faster than this I'm gonna quit gardening. SAD.

  13. Happy Birthday to your son, and happy for you that the late boys of summer finally showed!

  14. Hi Gail! There's nothing like a son to tug your heartstrings! ;-) (daughters are wonderful, too!)

    I know how you feel about caterpillars. I've been waiting and watching, too. I finally spotted some Monarch caterpillars on my Butterfly Milkweed last night! Yea! They do a number on the plant, but that's the main reason it's there. :-)

  15. Happy birthday to your son.
    Fennel is lovely in the garden when something or someone brushes against it leaving that delicious smell. I sometime scut some and hang by the front door so the draft releases the smell.

  16. ENjoy your autumn boys! I have some seeds of bronze fennel, perhaps I should get them into the ground!

  17. It's so wonderful to see them, the cute little potential butterflies. I noticed a Monarch laying eggs on my Milkweed, so I'm going to start looking for Monarch caterpillars soon.

  18. He's a big boy! Love bronze fennel. I have only one boy out on my four tall fennel plants.

    PS Sorry to be absent. We just spent 4 days visiting Washington, DC/Alexandria, VA and stopped by Mount Vernon today on the trip back. Didn't have internet. Didn't take my MacBook. Did take my camera!

  19. Nevermind that the fennel gets chomped, it drops enough seed to come back in spades the next year.

  20. Lucky you to get such big fat happy caterpillars. Swallowtails no less! You must have been excited. These days I'm excited to see any butterfly or worms. I've been leaving the worms in the hopes they'll be some stunning butterfly someday. Meanwhile, some things are getting eaten that I'm not so happy about! Ah, life in the garden.

  21. Happy birthday to your son!
    I wish I saw the beautiful caterpillars you are getting to see. I plant and plant for them but they must be going elsewhere. Maybe I need to try some fennel next year.

  22. so glad you are getting those s/t cats...it is very exciting.
    happy b~day to your son!

  23. Aw, the caterpillar is sooo cute! They had a really cool display of chrysallises at Franklin park conservatory, plus I recently had a tour of a Butter Lady's garden, so have learned a lot about the caterpillar stage. P.S. Some of my friends call me M! :)

  24. How did I miss this post dear Gail? More exciting news on the "boys" being back in town. I hope that means butterflies soon. We're still in short supply of them here and my bronze fennel has never had a caterpillar on it yet. Maybe I need to spray paint the top of it hot pink so they'll notice!? lol Belated birthday wishes to your son ~ I am a late summer birthday girl too so I know how great those are...

  25. I'm so JEALOUS! I have this lovely stand of fennel that's stood up and bloomed prettily for the past few years, just begging for some caterpillar action... and nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. :(

    I still look at them every day when I get into and out of my car, though. I have hope that some day, I will be surprised by a caterpillar sighting!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson