Sunday, August 2, 2020

Color Echoes and Garden Dramas

Basye's Purple Rose
While mowing yesterday, ProfessorRoush yesterday that he had accidentally and serendipitously planted a "color echo" side by side in the same bed, unrecognized until both bloomed at the same time.  Everyone who has spent time on my blog knows that I am a fan of trouble-free Basye's Purple Rose (top, right).  It's blooming sparsely but steadily right now, preparing, I hope, for a big fall show.

Buzz™ Velvet
Basye's Purple is in the foreground of the picture to the left.  Just across the bed, in the background of the photo, is its color twin, a dwarf butterfly bush that I planted in 2014.  This one is Buddleia davidii 'Buzz™ Velvet', a rich copy of Basye's deep magenta color if ever there was one.  'Velvet' is one of the series of Buzz™ buddleias hybridized by Planthaven Int’l, and he survives well in my garden, one of only two that have returned for more than 5 years running ('White Perfusion' is the other one).

Buzz™ Velvet may be a "butterfly bush," but it wasn't drawing any butterflies yesterday in my garden.  No, the butterflies were all running to the Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) that sits near the feet of my 'Jane' magnolia.  I have a single specimen of Joe, and he's as coarse and weedy as his name suggests, but at least he's fragrant, and fragrant in a good way.  Dull pink is a charitable description of his complexion, but in contrast the fragrance is to die for.

Joe Pye Weed does, however, beckon insects from all over the garden, just as it did the Painted Lady butterfly I photographed on it, and it has a delicious, sweet and light fragrance for ProfessorRoush to enjoy as well.  Sometimes even a weedy plant has a few positive attributes.

Wheel Bug 
Like many gardening stories, however, this happy meeting of a fragrant plant and a beautiful butterfly is not without cautionary notes.  Just two feet in front of the butterfly, another of life's little dramas, was playing out on the Joe Pye Weed.  This Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, has grabbed itself a bumblebee for it's evening meal.  I've also written about Wheel Bugs, and this largest of the assassian bugs (Hemiptera) is a common predator in my garden, if a nonselective one.  Mr. Wheel Bug, can you please, in the future, leave the bumblebees alone and concentrate on Japanese Beetles and June bugs?  Or are they just too tough for you, you coward?

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