July 8, 2020
What's blooming in Madison this week?
Gardening Friends,

Again, it’s been some time since I was able to send out a letter. I’m glad to be contacting you all, and I hope you are safe and well.

We have changed over to using Constant Contact for this newsletter and we hope the new format will be an improvement. In many browsers, you can right click on an image to view it enlarged.
An Interesting Online Talk
Before I share my recent observations with you, I’d like to suggest an interesting talk given by Dr Randi Eckel. She will be sharing information about native groundcovers, in a presentation sponsored by the Native Plant Society of NJ. Registration is required and free.

Wednesday July 8, 7:00 PM
"Native Groundcovers: Sustainable, Living Mulch"
with Randi Eckel
Common Yarrow
My yarrow, Achillea millefolium , is in bloom. It spreads by seed and rhizome, but not aggressively, to naturalize and stabilize a slope. It might be one of the native groundcovers discussed by Dr. Eckel this evening. 
The tight clusters of white flowers on yarrow are attractive to bees and other pollinators.
Bottlebrush Grass
Growing in among the yarrow is an ornamental grass with delicate seed heads.
Bottlebrush grass, Elymus hystrix , is excellent in a dappled woodland garden and is deer tolerant.  
Black Cohosh and Spring Azure Butterfly
Black Cohosh, Actaea racemosa , is another attractive and deer tolerant woodland native. 
And it's a host plant to caterpillars of the Spring Azure Butterfly, Celastrina ladon , with its strikingly blue one-inch wingspan. 
Photo taken 2014, by Melissa McMasters  from Memphis, TN
sourced from Wiki Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Without the caterpillars, there can be no butterflies! ... or baby birds for that matter. Many adult birds will eat seeds or fruits, but their fledglings need protein-rich caterpillars in order to thrive.
Please contact me at maccarij@rosenet.org if you have questions, comments, or photos of your own to share.

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Be safe and be well.

Best wishes,

Joan Maccari 
Madison Environmental Commission (MEC)

Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by Joan E. Maccari.
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