Garden Photo of the Day

How many butterflies do you see?

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Happy Monday, everyone! Forgive the short post today. I was in Maryland and Pennsylvania for a few days at the end of last week, and this post was a bit rushed when I got back on Friday afternoon. I thought I’d share one of the sights I saw while I was down there.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

I had the great pleasure of visiting Gail Gee’s garden in Fulton, Maryland, for the second time (check out a view in her garden in a past post HERE), and while her garden is just as gorgeous as always, we could not tear our eyes away from the butterflies! There were sections of the garden that boasted dozens on one shrub! Gail says that this is what happens when you don’t use chemicals. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post a few pics. Look very closely and see how many you can spot in each.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

I’ll say it again: This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/05/2013

    Had to seem like being in a land of enchantment to be amongst so many butterflies. What is the name of the flowering plant that is proving to be so irresistible to them?

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/05/2013


  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/05/2013

    Well, if Gail checks in here today, "hi" from someone who once3 lived in Fulton (a couple of years in the mid 80's on Cherry Tree Dr.). Following a couple links, I got to a site featuring your peonies in all their blooming glory...just simply breathtaking! If anyone else wants to take a peek, here's a link: if I'm allowed to give it

  4. tractor1 08/05/2013

    Holy Lepidopterist, Batman... must be a zillion of em!

  5. user-7006902 08/05/2013

    I always have to applaud the non-use of chemicals! Beautiful! Yes, what is the plant that is so attractive to these Swallowtails? It looks like Joe-pye to me but white up close? I know my lavender/purple Joe-pye attracts everything and all but sadly this year I have hardly seen a butterfly. They must not have made it this far north. It also looks like you have a flowering shrub - NJ Tea? I would love to know as I like to plant for wildlife and also do not use chemicals.

  6. GrnThum 08/05/2013

    The Eastern Swallowtails are being seen in unprecedented numbers all along the East Coast this year and although not spraying helps, it also must have something to do with the huge amounts of rain we've gotten this summer - although our local butterfly society still says they don't have an answer for why there are so many this year. We're all just enjoying the heck out of them. In fact, I took a movie of the scores I have in my garden because to see them move around gives an even better idea of how many there are. We may never see this phenomenon again unless we get another mild, wet summer. What a joy to be witnessing it!

  7. PeonyFan 08/05/2013

    Wonderful! Butterfly watchers in MN have been reporting very few sightings this year (despite our wet spring) so I am really glad to hear that the populations of butterflies are up somewhere else.

  8. pattyspencer 08/05/2013

    Just beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. user-282771 08/05/2013

    The plant with the white blooms is indeed a Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum 'Bartered Bride'). The butterflies are on everything this year. One of the other plants that they are making a great impact on is the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
    While I agree that this is an especially good butterfly year for us here in the Mid-Atlantic, I also would point out that local gardeners that have visited, have been amazed at the numbers in the garden. I am crediting the lack of chemicals for the abundance of butterflies and Japanese beetles. (If you watch the butterflies, you might miss the beetle damage)

  10. arthurb3 08/05/2013

    Beautiful! I love milkweeds!

  11. BetsD 08/05/2013

    I have a stand of Joe Pye Weed 'gateway' and have enjoyed a bounty of butterflies here on the Eastern Shore of MD. Swallowtails, Monarchs, and others by the boatload! Such a joy to watch.

  12. tractor1 08/05/2013

    I have a huge stand of Phlox right outside my bedroom window, it attracts butterflys an dhimmingbirds like a magnet.... and I don't open my windows but when I pass outside the wonderful aroma is captivating.

  13. cwheat000 08/05/2013

    Gail, there is a butterfly party going on in your yard. So nice to see. My little girl has been checking our dill plant for a week to see her swallowtail caterpillar friend. It just formed a chrysalis. What a joy to watch a free backyard science experiment.

  14. atpeacewithnature 08/06/2013

    Amazine picture. I just love the butterflys.

  15. jagardener 08/07/2013

    Must be really amazing to see. Flowers and butterflies are a match.

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