Last year we purchased 2 swan plants, 1 each for the boys. Thought it might be fun to hatch a few monarch butterflies in the garden.
Unfortunately it looked like a bug had got at the plants and they didn't seem to developed into much at all. However we left them where they were and ignored them for a while.
Well both plants grew and grew and still no monarchs came anywhere near our garden.
Then this summer, whilst the swan plants are now both over 1.5m high (!) we suddenly have butterflies for Africa!
A few have successfully laid eggs and we have had a few caterpillars, unfortunately the wasps have been out in force and not many have survived to growing to full stage to be able to turn into butterflies.
Several however have for some reason took to hanging off the garage wall rather than the plant itself, so we have had full view of the chrysalis doing its thing.
2 of the butterflies appeared on the same day. 1 minute they were in chrysalis and the next we looked...all of 10 mins later, the butterfly had appeared and the chrysalis was empty.
The boys have enjoyed having something happening in the garden and we have had lots of monarchs fluttering around all summer.
However with the summer weather comes other bugs and sadly we have managed, without trying I may add, to grow a nice amount of pantry moth in funnily enough of all places ..... the pantry!! Yes we have weevils in all the rice, oats, seeds etc
I can tell you, not what I wanted to do on a weekend...empty the whole pantry, throw away all dried food that is riddled with bugs web etc and start again with dried food in the pantry.
Last night we had chicken curry for dinner, I didn't realise at the time that they had successfully invaded the rice bucket as well and when it was finally cooked I found 2 dead maggots in amongst the cooked rice. Let's just say I had chicken curry without rice last night as for some strange reason I had gone off rice last night!!