Butterflies in the Air

Summer is here and the birds and butterflies are abundant among the native trees and shrubs in the garden.

(E. Wallace)

As I was writing this post, I noticed a pale swallowtail butterfly settling on a California coffee berry (Frangula californica). I took a break from the blog, stepped outside and captured this photo of an adult pale swallowtail butterfly laying eggs on the coffee berry leaves outside my kitchen window.

I grow edible plants in my garden, and native plants everywhere else. This summer’s garden has zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, butternut squash, and herbs. Native plants including buckwheat, narrow leaf milkweed, and white sage grow above the garden.

(E. Wallace)

I combine narrow-leaf milkweed with buckwheat throughout my yard. This combination seems to support monarch caterpillars, and the two plants require the same conditions–very little water and lots of sunshine.

Milkweed growing among buckwheat. (E. Wallace)

Whenever I have the chance, I go outside in the afternoon to see how many pollinator and butterfly photos I can capture. Here are a few photos taken this week in the garden:

(E. Wallace)
California sister butterfly. (E. Wallace)
Monarch caterpillar. (E. Wallace)
Blue-eyed bee. (E. Wallace)
Morning glory and a bee. (E. Wallace)

The garden supports thousands of beautiful creatures, but you have to look closely and be patient to see many of them. If you take a close look at a buckwheat plant, you will see the tiniest bees, butterflies (the size of your fingernail), and other pollinators enjoying the profusion of flowers.

(K. Ethington)

These tiny pollinators are important creatures in the landscape. Consider planting a buckwheat and a narrow-leaf milkweed, and lend a hand to native California pollinators. Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar has the healthiest, most beautiful narrow-leaf milkweed plants for sale right now.

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