Sunday, September 5, 2021

Today in our South Jersey garden: beautiful blooms, Milkweed, Monarchs, Figs and ants! #GardenCuizine

Today in Our NJ Garden - zone 7a (was 6b)

September 5, 2021

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. "End of Summer" seemed like the perfect title to my above photograph taken today in our front garden of Black-eyed Susan's with Sweet Autumn Clematis. 

The highlight of my day today was to see both a Monarch caterpillar AND a Monarch butterfly!! The monarch caterpillar was resting on Common Milkweed in Harry's Milkweed Meadow and the Monarch butterfly was visiting a small patch of native hardy Ageratum. Of course, both got reported on Journey North's website as fall Monarch migration is officially underway! 

I snapped a few photos of the Monarch caterpillar and butterfly with my cell phone and when I went back with my good camera to get better pictures later in the day, they were gone.

Figs growing on one of our fig trees
Today, our veggie garden is bursting with blooming garlic chives, zinnias and cannas. We also have dahlias (not blooming yet), chia and peppers and heirloom tomatoes that will keep producing here and there until the first killing frost.

This is our best year ever for figs! Figs have to be picked as soon as they ripen. Both trees are producing figs. Today I picked two huge figs from our littlest fig tree (variety unknown). One fig had to be sacrificed to the ants; they beat us to it.

One quick note about when to pick figs. I had this question, "Will figs continue to ripen once picked?" I read that figs do not ripen after they are picked. However, we just discovered that they do continue to ripen. Our Chicago figs continue to ripen and get sweeter after they are picked. Now, we just need to improve our timing of picking figs before the ants march in.

Happy Labor Day!

Related Links

Journey North - report your Monarch Sightings!

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