Late summer can be tough on the garden, especially if it's been a hot dry summer like it has in my region. One thing you learn when going through a dry spell is which plants can take it and which ones can't. Fortunately we've had some rain recently and the grass is starting to turn green again and the flower blooms have resumed.
One thing my garden hasn't been short of this summer is butterflies. My goal the last couple years has been to plant more flowers that attract butterflies, and it's starting to pay off as you will see in some of the photos below. In my opinion a true butterfly garden should contain both nectar plants for butterflies to feed on, and host plants for butterfly larva.
Here's is a monarch butterfly feeding on a tropical milkweed plant, also known as 'bloodflower' (Asclepias curassavica). If you look closely (click photo to enlarge) you can see a monarch caterpillar feeding on the plant foliage just below the butterfly (where the arrow is pointing). Milkweed is a great plant for pollinators and is the main host plant for monarch butterflies.
Here's a new butterfly bush (buddleia) I purchased this summer. It's a dwarf variety called 'Blue Chip'. So far I've been very pleased with it. It's a smaller compact version that continues to bloom just like the larger cultivars. I purchased this later in the summer which is not the ideal time to plant. For that reason I planted this in a pot where it sits nicely on my back deck. I plan to transplant it in the garden early this fall when things cool off a bit.
And just like all buddleias, the butterflies flock to it.
Black and blue salvia (Salvia guaranitica) is also new to my garden this summer. Beware, it likes to spread but if you have the room it's a neat plant and the butterflies and hummingbirds dig it to.
Russian sage is a great drought tolerant plant that continues to bloom and looks great with most plant combinations. Here a buckeye butterfly enjoys feeding from its nectar.
Blanket flower (gaillardia) is another drought tolerant plant that continues blooming throughout the summer. Keep it deadheaded for more blooms.
This is a mixture of 'New Gold' lantana mixed with 'Citus' lantana.
Here's a stand of melampodium. Truly a "plant it and forget it" plant. It begins to bloom the moment it comes up and last until frost.
'Miss Huff' lantana with a volunteer sunflower in the background.
Not sure of the name to this lantana. It's a low growing ground cover variety. Can you tell I like lantana?
Verbena is another one of those easy to grow, bang for your buck plant.
Thanks for stopping by and taking this tour with me. Remember, just because we're in the dog days of summer doesn't mean that the garden has to look like it. There're lots of plants that can stand up to the heat and drought that this time of season is known for.
For more ideas and other August blooms be sure to check out Mays Dreams Gardens for this months Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Thanks for hosting Carol!