Monarch Butterflies Program – Tuesday 7 p.m.

I’m doing a program on Monarch butterflies tomorrow at Grants View Library at 7 p.m.
9700 Musick Ave, St. Louis, MO 63123
Tuesday – Sept. 27, 2016

I hope you can make it.

Here’s a video of the Monarchs in my garden.

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Monarch Tagging for Kids This Sunday

If you live in the St. Louis area, we are going to let the kids tag some Monarch butterflies.

Sunday – Sept. 18, 2016
Time 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.


9016 Robyn Rd
Crestwood MO  63126

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Monarchs – Premigration Migration

monarch-dsc04501In  a recent newsletter written by Chip Taylor, he mentioned a phenomenon that is new to me. He called it the “Premigration Migration.”

In Missouri, the Monarchs have been quite scarce during the early part of the year, but in the last month or so they seem to be everywhere. Chip reports that Missouri seems to be one of the states where reproductive Monarchs seems to have flown south and have been laying lots of eggs. As a result, I have seen numerous Monarchs flying around and laying eggs in my yard. I reported seeing seven Monarchs a couple of weeks ago and an acquaintance mentioned that she had seen twenty-five. I also noticed twenty Monarch caterpillars in a brand new butterfly garden at one of our city parks. I’ve never seen so many caterpillars at one time.

Two days ago, I counted twenty Monarchs in my yard and assumed the migration was going through Missouri, but now after reading Chip’s newsletter, I think it’s more likely the “Premigration Migration.”

It looks like Missouri is definitely helping the Monarch population during this last month before the real migration.



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Black Swallowtails in the Garden

black-swallowtail-caterpillars-01While Monarchs have been rare this summer, there have been lots of Black Swallowtails around laying eggs in St. Louis. I have personally raised or given away about thirty caterpillars to schools.

Luckily Black Swallowtails have a wide palette of host plants. These include, bronze fennel (their favorite this year), rue (also good for Giant Swallowtails), Golden Alexander – Zizia aptera, dill. fennel, Parsley, and Queen Anne’s lace. If you see a caterpillar on any of these plants, there’s a good chance it’s a Black Swallowtail.




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U City Garden Tour


Jesse Gilbertson, the director of horticulture for  U City in Bloom, is going to give a tour of some of the city gardens on Monday – August 8th at 9:30 a.m. We are going to meet at Centennial Commons in Heman Park on Olive Blvd. This should be quite an informative program for all types of gardeners. No reservations are required, just show up.

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Dr. Lincoln Brower – Monarchs

Dr. Lincoln Brower has just posted a new program on the Monarch Migration via YouTube. Unfortunately, the news is not good. While the population was up last year, 2016 looks bleak for a number or reasons.

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Mary Ann Fink – Tips for a Better Garden

maryann-fink-01Recently, I was lucky enough to have Mary Ann Fink, one of the top gardeners in the St. Louis area, come and visit my garden. Here are a few notes from my conversation with her.

How can we grow flowers in a non-irrigated area?
Solomns Seal can take lack of irrigation.
Rudeckia will take lack of irrigation, but will look rough.

Shasta Daisy – to keep blooming, as soon as they are fading, not done, but just past their prime, take off just the top flower. There is a dormant bud just below the flower that may come into bloom. If you wait until they have gone to seed, it’s probably too late.

Asclepias tuberosa – plant pansies or small bulbs around it in the fall. It’s a late spring plant, and you want to mark the area where it is growing so you don’t dig it up accidentally.

Jerry Pence – great landscape designer.

Consider adding a walkway in my milkweed bed in the front to give it some visual interest and it’s easier to get into and weed.

10-6 Rule – This is for plants that tend to get tall. When it gets to ten inches, you cut it back to six inches. She suggested putting plants together that grow at the same rate so that you can just go in and trim the entire area at one time. New Englad Aster will take three prunings.

MA volunteered to help me during one of my talks.
(Possibly we could have her come and talk to Crestwood gardeners.)

Privet – cut to the ground every few years to rejuvenate.

MA likes the Claw – garden tool.

She suggests trying White Ball Buddleia – as it gets larger you can shear it.

She likes Veronica and Vervain.

Pom Pom Echinacea is borderline hardy,

Verticillium wilt – I may have in the soil. Killing Shasta Daisy?

Profusion zinnia – should be a good pollinator.

Bee Balm – cut to the ground when it is done blooming.

Hopefully Mary Ann will do a gardening program in the near future. I’ll keep you posted when she starts her class.








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