Saturday, October 16, 2010

Unexpected visitor (again)

Today in the garden we had a visitor, one not seen since September of 1997. Not even expected to be seen here again, but it flew right by me. This butterfly the Zebra Longwing is supposed to be in Florida, there are colonies know from Charleston SC. Did this guy get a ride on the winds of recent storms or did it hitch a ride on a passion flower to a nursery nearby? Guess it'll be something to wonder about... 

Gardening news
Today I worked in the garden once it warmed up that is.  Thinking spring already as I planted some spring bulbs and baby hellebores
    For the record I planted :
     5 split corona daffodils called Orangery
     5 Poetious daffodils called Actaea
    10 Galanthus Flore Pleno or Double Snowdrops these bulbs did not look well..
    15 Galanthus (Snowdrops)
     8 Leucojum aestivium (Snow Flakes)

    Also I finally planted 11 hellebore babies I collected this spring. They did quite well surviving the heat of the summer here. I'm hoping they will make a good showing in about 3 years. One of the large hellebores we received  at our house warming party when the addition was finished has lots of babies around it.

    The first Camellia of the season to bloom!

    Camellia sinensis  the tea camellia
    These blooms are only an inch across, one day when the plant gets much bigger we'll make tea from the tender new leaves.
    This is what I think is Rosebud Saliva. It grows huge 6-7 foot tall. We moved it to a new spot in the spring it is doing very well there. The photo below shows the flower before it is open all the way. Then as you can see in the photo above it changes up to a much different look.
    Toad Lily just getting started!
    I have had this plant for over ten years. No care mostly neglected and it still makes you smile!

    The Swamp Sunflower!
    Lovely flowers but completely out of control.  These 10-12 foot flower stalks have once again fallen over and now we have a 16 foot diameter loose ring of these flower covering the veggy garden. Good thing the veggies are done for the year.


    Carol said...

    It is good to have a record of your unexpected guests Randy. More will come I would expect with the warming trends. I love those little red dots on the Zebra Longwing. I wonder if they really frighten any predators? I have only ever seen them in butterfly houses. Your Camellia, Rosebud Salvia and Toad lily are gorgeous! I have never seen the exquisite Rosebud Salvia. Wow! Looks like you had a rewarding day in the garden. ;>)

    Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

    Toadlilies make me smile too. They are festive.
    I put two camellias in--Bonanza and Mine-No-Yuki. Bonanza is blooming already.

    Andrea said...

    Hi Randy, may i know the wing span size of the zebra longwing, i have been reading it but haven't seen one here. Whenever i see unfamiliar butterflies i feel like asking you for ID and some more info. You planted gallanthus, my favorite which i only saw once in real life. BTW, the terete Vanda which you are unfamiliar with are very suited to our climate of hot and humid tropics. We also have lots of hybrids. thanks for visiting my site.

    Randy Emmitt said...


    I had a good day in the garden, but did not even come close to tackling the really big weeds out there!

    I have seen Bonanza in bloom awesome red camellia. Mine-No-Yuki is a beautiful white camellia you made some great picks!

    The Zebra Longwing wingspan is 2 1/8 - 3 inches not sure on the metric though. They are found is shady places with openings in dappled light usually.

    Chloe m said...

    I have only seen a Zebra Longwing at the Butterfly garden.

    It is a beauty!

    Malay-Kadazan girl said...

    Beautiful bloom in your garden now. I like your toad lily.

    Les said...

    No camellias here yet, but lots of sasanqua buds. However, my toad lily is in full bloom, what a great plants asking so little and giving without effort.

    FlowerLady Lorraine said...

    That is amazing that you had a zebra longwing visit your gardens. I enjoy them every day living down here in s.e. FL.

    Oh my I love your blooms in this post, especially the salvia, toad lily and the swamp sunflowers.

    Enjoy all that beauty surrounding you.


    sweetbay said...

    The Zebra Longwing is gorgeous. There are (or were) Tea plants at the JC Arboretum. I was struck by how they made such elegant small trees. Our Swamp Sunflower fell over too but managed to gracefully at least. lol

    Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

    Nice! I've never seen one of those butterflies that I can recall. I just planted a couple camellias in our front garden - both 'Winter Snowman' cammellias. Do you have any experience with it? The swamp sunflower looks great!

    Sarah Knight said...

    Beautiful photos : )

    tina said...

    The zebra is really something! I'm glad your hellebore babies survived. I put mine in a flat and most died:( The swamp sunflower is awesome. I've been seeing it on a lot of blogs and just love it. Wow on the camellia. Mine are still a few weeks if not months away from blooming. Hard to believe it is almost winter already.

    Anonymous said...

    Stunning photos! You need to post about how to make tea from the Camellia sinensis

    Shady Gardener said...

    You have quite the variety in blossoms over there! :-) But, perhaps my favorite photo is that Zebra Longwing! I would have to sit right down on the ground if I saw something like that! ha.

    Lisa said...

    Sounds like you had a great day in the garden!

    But don't let too many of those horticultural plants seduce you and Meg -- they don't always 'work for a living' as much as we'd like, in spite of how attractive they may be....

    Cheers, and thanks for the correcting ids of butterflies and birds on my posts!


    Corner Gardener Sue said...

    Hi Randy,
    The photo of the butterfly did not show up in the post, but the other photos did. Most of these blooms are unfamiliar to me. They sure are lovelies!

    Yes, lemon balm is aggressive. I had limited it to growing in a pot, but it escaped. So far, I've been pulling it out when it's ventured beyond the entrance into the garden.

    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

    I forgot that there are Camellias that bloom this time of year. I actually just noticed today there are buds on mine, but it won't bloom until later in Spring.
    What a nice treat to see that butterfly. All I'm seeing here are Ladybugs and yellow jackets in our garden.
    I need to get some bulbs planted soon, and your post reminds me that I want to find some Snowdrops.

    Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

    How neat to have such a pretty and unexpected visitor. I love your toadlily- very exotic and so beautiful.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Randy, your blooms are gorgeous! And the butterfly is a beauty!! I've not seen the Rosebud salvia or the Toad Lilies. Those Swamp Sunflowers look most cheerful.

    Thanks for stopping by the other day. Your comment was most appreciated.

    Q said...

    The Zebra Longwing is my all time favorite butterfly...I dream some day they will find my garden....I saw a nice group of them in Texas a couple of years ago. Watched as they came to roost for the night. The next morning I went out early and watched the same group wake up...I will never forget the experience.
    How very exciting to have one in your backyard....