March through June are full of green growth, spring flowers, cloudy days mixed with fair ones, and rain. July 1, the faucet turns off and the sun turns on. Summer flowers begin to bloom. In early July in our corner of Virginia, many of the butterfly attractors begin to open up, and host plants have enough leaves and fresh greenery for butterflies to feel confident their baby caterpillars will have something to eat.
Because of the lack of rain, July also means fewer clouds and a more assertive sun. The lawn has already lost its lush green of spring, and by the end of the month, many of the flowers that are peaking now will turn crispy. I took some photos yesterday to catch them before they turn.
The butterflies aren’t here yet, but they will be soon. Around 6pm yesterday, after I’d put the camera away, a monarch flitted around the front beds for at least half an hour. I never did see it land for a drink, but there are tasty treats here: it will come back.
The front beds are mostly nectar plants.
The back beds include nectar plants along with host plants like rue, spicebush, dill, and milkweed.