Sunday, August 17, 2008

Swallowtail on Fennel

This black swallowtail caterpillar is on the fennel. I know the photo is more caterpillar than fennel, but I'm always so pleased when I get a moving target in focus. Both my bronze fennel and regular fennel seeded down next to the kitchen porch. It makes it easy to keep track of the caterpillar's progress. So far I have counted three there.

The light green plant is the kind of fennel with a bulb at the base that is sold in the store as anise. Fennel's flavor is similar to anise, but unique. The darker color plant is bronze fennel. I like its color and feathery foliage. It often comes back from the base and looks great anywhere in the garden.

Like the caterpillar, I think fennel is tasty. The flowers are a surprising burst of flavor in a salad. I use fennel bulbs in soup and in a salad with red and green basil. I think fennel is a must for any herb or butterfly garden. I know this caterpillar would agree!

It been beautiful day in the garden so far today. The onions were brought in to dry for braiding. The mildewed lavender bee balm was cut to the ground. The sun on the soil, and air circulation will do wonders there. Ed using his pry bar, leverage and a few strong words dug out two humongous clumps of Stella D'Oro day lilies. The cavernous hole left by them will be filled in, and the lavender bee balm will be divided and planted there. This afternoon, I plan to cut some black stem peppermint for drying. Fun! Fun! Fun!

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