Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Butterfly Garden Grows

By SKEETER Here is another project I tackled in Mid-March while playing in my Georgia Gardens. "Play" instead of work as I am outside once again enjoying the warm air, songs from my Bird Friends and digging in the dirt! Life is once again good for this gardener.

So we continue from Tuesday's post. You can see the border I dug out from the swing, around the ForsythiaAnd connecting to the Butterfly Garden, enlarging it. The Saints Bald Cypress tree is growing like crazy and needs more room to flourish. You can see where I have already spread fresh pine straw mulch in the original garden which I call the Butterfly Island. We dug out the two butterfly bushes that were beginning to crowd the tree. We also dug out another of the bushes to make for a better color contrast. I dug up several small butterfly bushes elsewhere in the yard as well. We planted all the bushes between the existing Butterfly Garden and the Forsythia. Wet ground makes for easy dirt turning. Now all the grass is turned over and ready for fresh Long Needle Pine Straw.Ah, now she looks better with her Pine Straw! Mulching with Pine Straw is the way to go in a Georgia Garden with our abundance of pine trees. I skipped a major mulching last year to save a bit of money. This year, I had to buy mulch with sparse gardens. The dilemma is "Long or Short" needle? Long Needle is more expensive then the Short Needle. I opt for the Long Needle this year and purchased a truck bed of 27 bales. I must say I made the right choice with the long needle. I believe I ended up spending less money in the end. Long Needle covers more area and this was the cleanest straw I have ever purchased in the 9 years I have been into gardening here! I found a total of 4 small sticks and one large pine cone and NO leaves or dust in those 27 beautiful red bales! The short needle will cover less area and will also break down quicker and is usually mixed with small amounts of debris. I "know" I paid less money in the end... I connected the Butterfly, Swing and Wishing Well Gardens making one large Island in the yard. Gee, should I keep all the names to distinguish the area I am talking about or give this big garden a new name? Ah, the dilemmas in my life should be so complicated. Ha....I love the new look of the Swing with Rock for the feet and Pine Straw background. This project took place on March 17. Here is the way things are progressing today. Butterfly Bushes all seem to have survive the move with lots of rain falling on them. Snowball Bush, Azaleas, Dogwoods all blooming and Crepe Myrtles greening up in the background!

Within this island, I planted transferred Elephant Ears, Angel Trumpet and Canna. I also scattered lots of seeds near the swing. I hope this Island will flourish with color soon.I over wintered a Banana plant inside the house. She lost some leaves in the cool part of the house and never produce one leaf the entire winter. She made her way outside on March 13 and the very next day, she had a new leaf coming out! I reckon she was happy as me to feel the Warm air in the great outdoors. I put her into the ground and she is a very happy Nanner giving me a second new leaf! The 27 Bales of Pine Straw covered this entire area along with mulching all Crepe Myrtles, a Ceder tree, the Driveway Island, Angel Island and the front Hedge.

I left my Gardens for a week and returned to a soggy mess with 4.5 inches of rain falling in 6 days time. Thus, keeping me out of my garden for an additional week. I walked the garden today for the first time in 2 weeks and found some nice surprises. I long for the yard to dry up for more Spring Play.

This is how THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN GROWS, In the Garden...


Note: This week our town of Augusta, Georgia is full of visitors attending The Master's Golf Tournament. The Saint and I were lucky enough to walk this beautiful Golf Course a few years ago. If you would like to see the beautiful garden views of Azalea's plus more that we saw, Click Here. For a behind the scenes maintenance peek, Click Here . And Click Here to see more of the course's treasures. Tune in Sunday as you can see this course live for yourself via the television....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Awesome and big job Skeeter! Knowing your property and how big it is I think the bigger garden with all the butterfly bushes is definitely the way to go for big impact and presence.

  2. Butterfly bushes? Does that mean that butterflies come to these bushes?

    I like the changes that you have added. Especially to the swing area.

  3. WOW, I love what you have done.


  4. You have done a lot of work and it has paid off. Looks really great! I do like your swing and the vine climbing around it. Smiled about your pine straw true! Fortunately I have a great local guy who sells the cleanest pine straw and the cheapest prices around here at $2.75 a bale.

  5. What a transformation! I just know that you will be greatly rewarded with beautiful blooms!

  6. I hope the area blooms big! I totally understand about naming an area and then merging areas and trying to figure out what to call it. I've had some of that here. The banana does look happy in its new home!

  7. It is looking gorgeous and the pine straw just makes it all will be getting blooms and pollinators before you know it

  8. Skeeter, Did you get my email message the other day about the card?

  9. I'd opt for a new name. How about Pine Needle Paradise garden? I wish we could find a supplier for that long needle straw. It does sound like a better deal. So far, I've only been able to afford buying pine straw for the blueberry bushes. Some of the ornamentals need it too!

  10. Skeeter, that is a lot of work! That is possible only in that kind of temperature, but in this climate we have it is impossible. Even at 7am the sun's rays already get so sharp on the skin, and you need to seek cover. I wish to be doing that amount of work, coz i love also to put a swing like that. Now rest well and we will wait for them to grow and butterflies will be there soon.

  11. Good Morning Everyone.
    Skeeter, WOW, that is fantastic. That was a lot of work. I bet you have a lot of visitors with all those blooms that is to come.
    Great job girl.

  12. Love the look of the larger beds, good idea. I agree, we get the Long Leaf pine straw, usually about 10 bales at a time, little by little I spread it around. Hard to get the knack of putting it around stuff without the straw all poofy. Tis a talent!

  13. A beautiful day expected here in GA and no rain in the forecast for the next week! Ah, the garden should get some more attention and the boat to the lake this weekend!

    Tina, I do think larger plants are the way to go in the center of the yard. But they block the view of the Semi-Formal Garden from the rest of the yard. I guess maybe I should change that name to the Secret Hidden garden. hee hee...

    ZZ, YES! The Butterflies, Hummingbirds and bees flock to these bushes!

    Flowerlady, thanks! It all seems to keep growing and growing larger around here…

    Karin, Hello and thanks for stopping by today! The vine around the swing is an old wild grapevine taken off a tree that fell in our yard. We carefully took the vine off the tree and placed it on the swing. I have a post telling the process. Search the word “Grapevine” on the sidebar and you should find the post on that project. Wow, you get cheap pine straw!

    Darla, I cannot wait for the blooms to arrive! This area should be a very happy place for butterflies and soon…

    Sherlock, Yes, the naming dilemma is a challenge. I will probably keep them all named as were for a bit or just call it the Big Island. LOL. I cannot wait for the blooms to start opening…

    Donna, Oh yes, I do hope lots of butterflies and I so enjoy sitting in the swing and observing them. They are always so busy fluttering around and they entertain me with every flutter…

    Tina, Yes but did not reply due to you saying you were headed out to visit daughter. You are the best hostess girl and I so enjoy my visits to “Tiger Gardens”…

    W2W, I am thinking of “The Big Island”. The Saint lived in Hawaii and talks about the Big Island often. He also says he did not loose anything in Hawaii and therefore has no plans to ever return. Since I have never been, my chances are slim to ever see the Big Island so I must have my own right….

    Andrea, the only time I can tackle such projects is in the spring months. The weather is in the 70’s and no humidity in the air. Perfect gardening weather for me. Our summer months are brutal with temps in the upper 90’s-100’s and sticky hot humidity that makes your skin wet. Not my kind of fun. I try to do all my work in the spring then just dwell on watering the gardens with sprinkler’s set up during the really hot months…

    Lola, I know that soon the butterflies will be flocking into this area. They are already hitting the plants currently blooming in the garden. I am already enjoying them and cant wait to see how many we get this year with more additions…

    Janet, My little trick with spreading the straw; I take one flake at a time and just toss it up into the air and let it fall. Then I scatter it around where I desire. This loosens up the straw and makes it easier to work with. I love mulching with pine straw as it stays in place better then bark mulch…

  14. The big island is great and I know you will have lotsa enjoyement out of it but you girls are making me tired just reading about all this hard work!!

  15. I love that island!!! I looooove that swing looks GREAT!! It is going to be fabulous when everything begins to bloom.

  16. Wow. Butterflies and hummingbirds. What a pleasant surprise.

  17. I agree with you on the long leaf pine needles. We always use them because they give so much more coverage. I love the look that they create. Your garden is looking great! Carla

  18. Miss Jean, it is not work but fun play to me this time of year. With my winter depression, I build up energy and it explodes in the spring! All you have seen thus far took place by mid March! I was playing like a kid in the yard and eating up all the fun…

    Dirt Princess, The Saint and I sat on the swing for a bit this evening. It was awesome looking around at all the greenery surrounding me knowing that soon things will bloom…

    ZZ, There are many different types of Butterfly bush which is called Buddleia by its botanical name. Check into them as they are great attracters…

    Carla, thanks and yes, long needle is the way to go. It has rained since these pictures and now it lays perfect in the planters looking beautiful. I like the way it stays in place verses bark mulch…

  19. You have been a busy lady, Skeeter! Spreading 27 bales of pine straw must have been quite a job. We had so many pine needles last fall that I raked up a bunch and spread it around and even saved some for this spring. I'm thinking it will be the perfect mulch for my shade garden.

    I'll pass on watching the golf tournament, but I'd love to see all those azaleas.

  20. Rose, With clean pine straw, spreading it is rewarding and not really a job. When it is dusty, it is a job and a nasty job indeed. We have pine trees as well but leaves get into that straw so I don’t put it in my gardens. The pine from our trees pretty much stays where it falls for that natural look in the woods. We will probably not watch the Masters on Sunday this year as we plan to be on the lake instead. We are not golf fans but do understand the game and enjoy watching the Masters just for the garden views…

  21. I agree with Tina, your yard can definitely accomodate an island bed of these dimensions. Great job! Can't wait to see how it progresses over the season. :)

  22. Thank you Skeeter. I think I will.