Garden Photo of the Day

Caterpillars and Flowers in Mississippi

Monarchs, roses, and more

Today we’re visiting with Peggy Sheets in Bay St. Louise, Mississippi. (See this previous post from Peggy):

We’ve had lovely weather, though dry for us. Thank goodness for plants in this strange world we’re in these days.

AmaryllisAmaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrid) growing in the ground! Northern gardeners are used to growing these as houseplants, but there are a few varieties that are hardy to Zone 7, and many can be grown outside once you get to Zone 8 or 9. They’re always beautiful, however you grow them!

monarch butterfly caterpillarsHungry monarch butterfly caterpillars making short work of a milkweed plant.

Big, fat, monarch butterfly caterpillars shopping for a good spot in what Peggy calls the “Chrysalis Condo.” The caterpillars hang in this distinctive “J” shape for about 24 hours as they prepare their chrysalises.

Monarch butterfly chrysalisAfter one to two weeks, the mature butterflies will emerge, and some will fly north to lay eggs for the next generation of butterflies.

The caterpillar of a giant swallowtail butterfly. The adult butterflies are incredibly beautiful, but at this stage, they’re less attractive. In fact, they mimic the look of bird poop to avoid being eaten.

Climbing rose ‘Don Juan’Climbing rose ‘Don Juan’. The rich red flowers are beautifully complemented by the red leaves of the new growth.

Louisiana iris ‘Eclipse’Louisiana iris ‘Eclipse’ (Zones 5–9). The Louisiana group of irises are hybrids of several species native to the southeastern United States. They boast beautiful flowers and thrive in hot, humid weather.

rose ‘Peggy Martin’The rose ‘Peggy Martin’ covers the arbor with pink flowers.

Camellia japonica ‘Royal Velvet’Camellia japonica ‘Royal Velvet’ (Zones 7–10). It’s easy to see where that name comes from!

Walking irisWalking iris (Neomarica gracilis, Zones 9–11) gets its name because after blooming, the flower stems bend over to the ground and form new plantlets at their tips, allowing the plant to “walk” through a landscape. If it isn’t hardy for you, this beautiful plant can also be grown as a houseplant.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/16/2020

    All is so lovely, Peggy. If other readers don't know the story of the Peggy Martin rose they should look it up. An amazing rose for sure.

  2. alicefleurkens 04/16/2020

    Love your caterpillar condo and all your beautiful flowers.

  3. btucker9675 04/16/2020

    What wonderful photos! My milkweeds are coming up nicely and I look forward to a good crop of monarch caterpillars - always given them some parsley to munch on as well! Those Louisiana irises are stunning.

  4. [email protected] 04/16/2020

    Lovely and educational gpod! No sign of life on my milkweeds yet, but I know they are slow to emerge in the Spring, so will keep watching . Now I need to plant some parsley!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/16/2020

    I especially loved the monarch photos...they were mesmerizing and miraculous.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 04/16/2020

    Such an informative post! I learned a lot about the butterflies from you. Such a pretty garden and love that Spanish moss!

  7. Patchworkgardener 04/16/2020

    Hi Peggy the caterpillar pics. I had ten swallowtail caterpillars on my fennel one day they were all gone. Looks like yours are doing great. Love the Louisiana iris too. I live in zone 8. Hot and humid. I’m going to try them. Thanks for sharing

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