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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go.

R hirta 'Indian Summer' with Silvery Checkerspot

No, not me! I'm packing my bags for Seattle Summer Fling. Clothes are scattered all over  as I try to figure out what to pack for weather cooler and wetter then ours.  I can't wait to step off the plane to cool air...But seeing old blogging  friends and meeting new ones is what keeps me signing up for Gardenblogger Flings each year.  

Wavy-lined Emerald Moth Caterpillar - Synchlora aerata~on R hirta 'Cherry Brandy'
I'm leaving the garden in the capable hands of Mr I Don't Garden or Blog.   Do you suppose he'll notice the cleverly disguised caterpillars as he's watering the Susans? They are all dressed up with no plans to go anywhere!   Masters of camouflage, they will dine at home, in complete privacy from birds and other prey.

Rudbeckias are a host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot
 Surely he'll notice the beautiful Silvery Checkerspot.  The Susans are host plants for this cutie pie butterfly and they are having a grand time with the newly added cultivars.

'Solar Eclipse'
 So am I.  They've added more golden delightfulness to the garden.  Some are in the ground, but many are in containers  strategically placed for sun and viewing.

 Besides Rudbeckia hirta  'Cherry Brandy' and 'Solar Eclipse', I've added  'Indian Summer' and 'Prairie Sun'. They are indeed glorious daisies! (Glorious Gloriosa Daisies)

Rudbeckias or the Susans~are perfect wildflowers for Clay and Limestone.  They're native to the Central Basin, can take the heat and humidity of our summers and never balk at the wet winters.  They bloom for a very long time and provide food and habitat for more critters then I can count on my ten fingers!

Critters like the Wavy-lined Emerald Moth Caterpillar, or,

Eupithecia miserulata
I've already seen small Carpenter Bees, Green Metallic bees and Bumbles visiting for the nectar and pollen.  Butterflies, bees of all sizes, wasps, beetles and even the little loper caterpillars  rely on the Susans.

The cats of the Silvery Checkerspot feed on the leaves  and bees nectar at the flowers

  I might have to introduce Mr I to the all the garden residents~So, he can say hello to them while I'm in Seattle.


Previous Fling Posts~
Austin April 2008: Thoughts On A Stunning Garden (here)
Chicago July 2008: A River Runs Through It (here)
Buffalo July 2010: The Garden Bloggers and Those Gardens (here)

This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. I do hope Mr. 'I don't garden or blog' enjoys the garden while you are away...with fellow bloggers. Lovely post Gail.

  2. Yes, by all means make the formal introductions, dear Gail! Mr. I needs to see how wonderful the interaction is. What beauties they all are, flowers and critters alike. I can't wait to see you again!!! We will squeal like schoolgirls, (or at least I will).

  3. I love those macro shots of the caterpillars. I need to check my Susans for any sign of them. See you in Seattle my friend.~~Dee

  4. Your photography and blooms are beautiful. I have been trying to get some close-ups of butterflies, dragonflies and bumble bees in the garden and so much fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent!

  5. Maybe once you've made the introductions, Mr. I will change his mind about gardening:) Enjoy, enjoy your trip--I will be thinking about all of you this weekend. And what a perfect place to go to escape this heat!

  6. Wonderful photos, wonderful post! Here's to Mr I doing a splendid job as Head Waterer!

  7. I am once again blown away by your photos. You have a special gift for spotting and photographing those residents.

  8. Gail, what a beautiful set of cheerful pictures! Have a great trip!

  9. Your pictures are full, glorious summer!

  10. Fun to see your garden visitors. Most intersting indeedie. Have a great time in SEattle. I can't wait to read all the blog posts and see all the pictures. Take copious notes. I want to hear about it all.

  11. Have fun!!! That sounds like a great idea....meeting fellow bloggers. Your pics make the mind wander:)

  12. I hope I get to meet you, Gail, at Fling. I'm very much looking forward to it! Hopefully, everything will survive the ministrations of Mr. I.

    That caterpillar is most interesting. It just looks like a bit of dried crud. No one would want to eat that!

    Your Susans are beautiful, so bright and cheery!

  13. Gail,
    Love the checkerspot photos, they do like Black-eyed Susans. As far as I know Rudbeckias are not a host plant for Silvery Checkerspot. I'm sort of an expert on them having found 5-6 different sub species of them in the US.

    Here is my list of host plants for Silvery Checkerspots:
    Wingstem Verbesina alternifolia, sunflowers Helianthus including Thinleaved Sunflower Helianthus decapetalus, Pale-leaved Sunflower H. strumosus and Jerusalem Artichoke H. tuberosus

    Meg just found me a Thinleaved Sunflower, it is on this list, now it needs planting.

  14. Wonderful blooms and butterflies Gail! Your photography is breathtaking. Have a wonderful trip!

  15. Have a great trip Gail. It is sure to be a good one. You left us with some pretty images in your garden.

  16. The photos are fabulous! Enjoy your trip! I have to say, my Mister is fantastic in the garden... drove me CRAZY when I was gone a few days, calling me to tell me all what he was doing!

  17. Your pictures are delightful, Gail! I hope you all have a wonderful time in Seattle!

  18. Randy, Thanks Randy~ Several websites I visit list it as a host plant and one says the cats feed on R hirta leaves. gail

  19. I know you're going to have a Wonderful Time with everyone out there in Seattle! What a wonderful trip you're going to have, Gail!! Perhaps next year you'll have to detour to Iowa first and pick me up on the way! :-) I'll look forward to your photos.

  20. Love these photos. They ARE the best of summer.

  21. Hi Gail,Your butterflies are sheer delight. They look lovely on the Susans.

    Be sure to pack a sweater. You'll likely need it. Yesterday we had sunshine but today it's back to clouds. Have a great time!

  22. Enjoy your trip. Know the gardens will be fine and dandy til you get home.
    Need to add more Susans to my garden. Love those Glorious Daisies!

  23. Oh how I love your butterflies, and mine! I've just started to see them this week, so hopefully I'll capture a photo soon!

  24. As long as those faces are still facing up upon your return, I'd say your fine husband has done his job. I sort of like the idea that he's entertaining the creatures without even knowing it. Looking forward to reading about your trip upon your return!

  25. Hope you had a wonderful time Gail!

  26. Wishing you a great and safe trip to Seattle and a wonderful time, Gail.
    Hopefully you won't get cold so far North. ;)


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