Garden Update

A while ago, I documented the first big progress in our butterfly garden for Millie: You can read about the end of week one progress here; check out the grotto in progress here; read about the chopping of our cherry tree here; and see what we started with in our before pictures here.

This past week, we have been enjoying the most gorgeous fall weather in Central Virginia – cooler temps means cutting off the AC, opening windows, and spending more time outdoors. This year I am spending a lot more time outdoors in order to prepare the butterfly garden for a beautiful spring ahead. We had a few good days of rain after a dry summer, so I also took the opportunity to dig holes where we will be planting trees.

So what’s new this week?

Mums. We purchased a few beautiful Belgian mums at the store to add some fall color in the garden. According to,

Chrysanthemums symbolize different things in different countries: life and rebirth in Asia, sympathy in Europe, and respect and honor in America.

I thought all of these reasons were appropriate and fitting to place in Millie’s butterfly garden. The colors Mon Cœur (MC) and I chose mimic the beautiful fall foliage surrounding us now. If at all possible, we want color to be present throughout the garden year round, and mums were an obvious choice.

A collection of Belgian mums: Cento, Staviski Orange, and Antika Bronze.

Daffodils & Narcissus. While we were checking out at the store, I spied bulbs for planting – tulips, daffodils, narcissus. I remembered seeing a spread in BHG last February. The article featured a house with a lawn freckled with daffodils.

Dreamy, right?

I thought it was beautiful and reminded me of the scene from Big Fish, where Edward Bloom proposes to his future wife in a field of daffodils.

So MC and I chose a few to try. I’ve never done bulbs before and thought it would be something new to try, and give us some spring color. Over the years we can do like the BHG spread explained – buy a few new varieties to add, as well as divide the established bulbs. I’m considering it a new adventure and challenge in gardening!

Daffodils and Narcissus Bulbs – from left to right: Pink Paradise, Stainless, and tête à tête.

I loved the planting directions for the bulbs, and it sounds foolproof: “Dig, Drop, Done!

MC by the daffodils she planted in front of her “peek-a-boo” rock. In the left corner, and continuing in a line are four corkscrew willows. Just left of center is a mum planted for some fall coloring.

Corkscrew willows. After planting the mums and daffodils, there were some corkscrew willow trees that had broken out of their pots (literally) and were shooting roots into the ground. They needed a new home, so we made a small row of four trees on the edge of the garden.

MC amuses herself with a tea party and green goldfish.

After MC helped decide where to put the new plants, she planted herself at a huge tabletop of granite, which Chouchou will be making into her tea party spot.

Adding notes of what was planted to our garden sketch.

One thing I’ve learned over the years of gardening is that if I don’t make a note of what I put where, then I will forget. While this makes for happy surprises, it can also make for befuddled head scratching and lots of wondering, so I’m trying to go about this the correct way. I bought the little plastic stakes to mark our daffodils, and made notes of where we planted different flowers and trees. the sketch also doubles as a handy note when we go back to the nursery to get more flowers.

“I take picture you, Mommy.” And so she did, with my Canon Rebel. Pretty impressive for a two year old, no?

12 thoughts on “Garden Update

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