September 21, 2015

Migratory Inspiration

Every morning our cardinal vines are visited by hummingbirds. Except of course this morning — the one where i tried to capture them with my camera. I stood there as still as i could until my arms started to fall asleep and my eye (that was pressed against the viewfinder on my camera) started to water. But the vine is so pretty! It's an annual and we plant it every year just for our seasonal visitors.
Here it is rambling up and over our yew shrub in the front yard. Pete had the wonderful idea to use the shrub as a natural trellis, and it's been a beautiful addition to our garden.
The monarch butterflies, though few, are here each day fluttering around to the many native plant species we selected especially for them.
monarch on butterfly bush, Black Knight
They particularly love (as in they circle around our entire garden and 99.9% of the time land on this plant) Liatris Ligulistylis or Meadow Blazing Star.
I check our milkweed every day with the hope of seeing a little monarch caterpillar, but none sighted so far.
Sadly, Monarch populations are down so much and they really need our help. The Xerces Society has a number of wonderful resources and information about what you can do right in your back yard. Even if you have a very small area you can plant a pollinator feeding station. It's all about picking the right plants for your area. Check this guide for more info. A wonderful plant no matter where you are: Zinnias. They attract all kinds of bees and butterflies (including this Black Swallowtail), and they come in so many beautiful colors!
Ok, that's the end of my PSA. The benefits of helping butterflies, for me, have been a daily lift to my spirits and much inspiration. Keep this in mind when i share more {soon} about next fabric collection for Moda!
Have a beautiful day!


  1. Such a beautiful garden you have, Kate! We have not had an many monarchs here recently as we had in the past. I just thought it was because one of our butterfly bushes didn't survive the last ice storm! But there has been this one monarch around all summer that loves our white butterfly bush. I know it's the same one because one of the wings has a chunk out of it, like it was injured by something at some point. It seems healthy otherwise and spends lots of time fluttering from flower to flower. They are so beautiful to watch!

    Your new fabric line looks lovely as well. Just what we have come to expect from your creative hands!

    Thanks so much for sharing the beauty in your life with all of us!


  2. Beautiful garden, beautiful butterfly and yes, beautiful fabrics:-) Only thing missing is a beautiful cat picture;-)

  3. Love this! Also, very excited for your new collection, it is just perfect for a sweet, young lady I have known since she was 3 and should be released just in time for a graduation quilt.

  4. Can't wait! I just love your garden. I miss mine.

  5. What an inspiring garden! The butterflies are incredible, none like that here :)

  6. I have milkweed and butterfly bushes in my yard. This year marked another year of zinnias too. I love the tiny Lilliput Zinnias. They don't grow big and floppy. I took some seeds and threw them under my mother's light post and she has been thrilled with their color and easy maintenance! And yes, we do this for the butterflies!

  7. Hi Kate, I am in Master Gardener training and I found this blog entry very interesting. Thank you so much for the information about butterflies and how to encourage them to visit your home garden. Your garden looks lovely and I have enjoyed seeing photos of it all summer long. I also enjoy the photos of your kitties on Instagram. And of course I love your fabric. I hope you have a colorful and joyous autumn.

  8. What a delicate flower, the Meadow Blazing Star. It looks like a wildflower. And thanks for the links. I'm considering a revamp of my garden next spring, so I have all winter to drool and develop ideas. It would be nice, and easy, to plant for butterflies!

  9. All pictures are very nice and thanks for share...

  10. Haven't seen those 2 kittens lately Kate...are they enjoying themselves?


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