Milkweed and Fritillary Butterflies

Over the last few weeks, the milkweed has bloomed, and the last week brought a flurry of orange-winged fritillaries. I can’t yet identify the milkweed, so if you can, please let me know. – Stacey Morgan Smith

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*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

Wild Black Raspberries – Free Dessert

black raspberries

I’m enjoying homegrown berries for dessert!

The brambles that are growing around the yard have turned out some beautiful black raspberries. If you’re not familiar with black raspberries, the taste is unique, not at all, in my opinion, like the cultivated red raspberries I’ve eaten nor anything like wild blackberries. I’ve […]

Musk Thistle – Pretty Pink and Purple

A recent bloomer on the farm (and along a bit of I81, from what I’ve seen) is this thistle, which I think is a Musk Thistle. This wonderful thistle guide from my alma mater helped me identify it.

I’ve found them growing mostly where they are in partial-to-full shade — at the edge of the […]

Serviceberry – June Berry

When spring had sprung, I was delighted to find a small crop of what looked like blueberries. Well, they were the same shape as blueberries.

service or June berries ripening

I hadn’t even noticed the blooms, but the leaves weren’t the same and they weren’t much of a bush, so I knew I […]

Nigella – Love in a Mist

Wile the Nigella I planted in the sweet pea garden seem to have suffered along with the peas in our early summer heat, a little bit of color in the catalpa garden turned out to be a spot of love-in-a-mist. The flowers are beautiful and their seed pods are gorgeous.

blue nigella