Milkweed in Netting Bags

Milkweed bugs (nymphs upper left and adults middle left) literally suck the life out of milkweed pods and their seeds. The bug-eaten pods are already dried and split, ready to spread their fluff.

I’m trying small nylon-net bags this year over the pods to help prevent the milkweed-bug damage. Once the pods formed and before […]

Coral Honeysuckle Attracts Hummingbirds

Want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? Plant our native coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), which blooms red from April through September. It does best with some support, and light pruning keeps it to your desired size.

Coral honeysuckle tends to attract aphids, but you’ll probably see ladybugs and lacewings hunting for their dinner. Here you see […]

Monarch Life Cycle in the Shenandoah Valley

After a couple of years, I’ve finally managed to capture each step of a monarch’s life.

From egg, through the instars, chrysalis, adulthood, and ovidepositing another egg.

If you grow milkweed, you can see this in your garden, too!

*** 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.***

Tomato Hornworms Glowing in the Dark

hornworm under blacklight

I learned from another Master Gardener Volunteer that tomato and tobacco hornworms actually glow in the dark under blacklight.  Armed with this knowledge and a cheap blacklight from Amazon, I took a little trip out to the veggie garden this evening for a most gruesome task… dispatching the hornworms munching on […]

Bumble Bee on Borage

The one plant I always let go to seed and never pull? Borage. It’s pretty, the bees love it, and the flowers are edible!  Here’s a little bumble bee who methodically checked every blossom before moving to the chive flowers.

bumble bee on borage

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of […]