Tag Archives: Zinnias

Monarchs at the HarborWalk Zinnia Patch!

Monarch Butterfly Gloucester HarborWalk ©Kim Smith 2014This past week while I am home enjoying a staycation (why would anyone ever want to leave Gloucester during the summer?), I have been working on HarborWalk butterfly garden improvements, alongside some outstandingly helpful volunteers. Imagine our delight when a beautiful Mama Monarch flew on the secene. After nectaring from the zinnias, I was hoping she would deposit her eggs on the Marsh Milkweed, strategically planted next to the nectar-rich zinnias, but no, not on her day’s agenda.

Many Hands Make Light Work ~ If you would like to join the Friends of the HarborWalk volunteers, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. You don’t need to be an expert gardener to join us; on the job-training is provided. We also need sweepers, trash-picker-uppers, and weedwhackers!

I understand from Matt Coogan, Gloucester’s Community Development Senior Planner, that there were over 800 people attending the free Summer Cinema on Wednesday night!! This coming Wednesday, a showing of Goonines is scheduled. I hope to see you there!

Monarch Butterfly Glucester HarborWalk Zinnia patch ©Kim Smith 2014The Monarchs we see in our gardens at this time of year are not the Methuselah Monarchs that travel to Mexico, but the parents of the generation that will.

 

ZINNIAS!

Zinnia elegans ©Kim Smith 2013 copyZinnia elegans

We L-O-V-E zinnias, not only because they flower non-stop from late June through the first frost, but because they also attract myriad species of bees and butterflies to their tiny yellow center florets (disk flowers). The singles are best for attracting pollinators as it is easier for the butterflies and bees to find their way to the sweet nectar.

Like all members of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), zinnias are comprised of two types of flowers; the center florets are called disk flowers and the outer petals are called ray flowers.

The wildflower zinnia that grows in the deserts of Mexico and southwestern United States, from which most hybrids developed, is a simple daisy-like flowerhead with pinkish purple ray flowers and yellow disk flowers.

Zinnia elegans

An old fashioned common name for zinnias is Youth-on-Age because they continue to produce new flowers as the older blossoms are expiring.

Vining Around the Garden

For readers not yet aware, Vine is a free downloadable app for your cell phone. Vine allows you to make six-second continuously looping videos, which you can share instantly to Twitter, FB, and Vine. I like Vine because it is so immediate, uncomplicated, and fun to use. Some people I follow on Vine are John McElhenny; his Vines are always interesting scenes taken in and around Gloucester, and also Amanda Mohan and Macklemore because their Vines are often super funny.

To read the caption, wave your cursor over the lower left-hand corner of each video.