(posted on April 1, you should note)
Otherwise, they are serious about planting milkweed, the only plant on which monarchs lay eggs and it is the only food for Monarch caterpillars. The major threat to monarchs is said to be the destruction of wild stands of milkweed, especially caused by agricultural practices across North America. The use of Round-up ready crops and therefore, the herbicide "Round-up" to destroy the nearby weeds (including milkweed), has destroyed the home-base of monarch butterflies. Given this, the Okanagan should really be a heaven for monarchs. Milkweed grows wild all around here and there are no such thing as Round-up ready grapes or tree fruits. Milkweed really lives up to its "weed" name, as it actually thrives in neglected spots all over the place.
Our wild milkweed, Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed) is rather coarse looking large plant with large pink ball of pink stars. They are very drought tolerant, which is demonstrated by the ones growing alongside the cactus in the scrubland across the street from our house. They survive in zone 3-9 and grow up to 6 feet tall!
|Asclepias tuberosa seedlings|
|Stock tank raised bed|
The stock tanks are full to the brim now. The previous layers of rocks and sand are now covered in potting soil. Last week, I planted spinach and carrot seeds in this first one.
|Plants in the greenhouse|
|Chionodoxa in bloom|
Spring is the season for the lovely small bulbs like scilla, crocuses, chionodoxa and more. Also, if you stay indoors, you can know its spring in the Okanagan because the seniors are now wearing sandals (with socks)! Yes, despite the freak storm of sleet at lunchtime today, the sun did come out in the afternnon and I got a photo of my Chionodoxa blooming. I picked up some drumstick primulas and a few more bunches of grape hyacinths to fill in the "rock garden" flower bed. Once the peony and other perennials get going, it might not look so bare.