Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tomatoes, Poppies, Swallowtail Caterpillars!

Life has been good in the garden--lots of rain, sun, cool temps and no frost have given us a bang up growing season of lettuces, sorrel, chard, mint, beets, parsley, cilantro, peas and our first ripe yellow tomatoes!  Come on by Saturday mornings to take home some of the harvest.

Marigolds, daisies and these lovely poppies add a splash of color to the garden and help deter pests 
Sometimes it's tricky to know what's a good bug and what's not, apart from the obviously welcome and easily recognizable ladybug.  Luckily we have Becky Combs as our resident bug researcher.  She is forever collecting bug specimens and taking them to Natural Gardener for analysis.  I'm hoping she might share her in depth knowledge in a blog post soon (c'mon Beck!)  The other day she was informing me on good caterpillars and bad when she noticed several brightly colored swallow-tailed caterpillars on the dill and fennel stalks. 

I counted about 4 of these beauties on Saturday.  Hopefully they will make cocoons soon and I'll keep you posted as they mature and morph. With any luck, we should see them turn into this...

Isn't nature the coolest?  Thanks Beck for keeping us informed and creating a habitat for these beautiful and important creatures.  See ya in the garden!