The Swallowtail Relocation Protection Program

May 29th, 2011

I found a few of these guys mowing down my carrot patch a few days ago.

It’s a swallowtail caterpillar.

Not wanting to harm him, I called in some reinforcements.

I wrongly thought that a nine year old boy would not mind transporting a few squashy caterpillars from one location to another, but I was wrong.  Jack did not want to touch the soft bodied creatures anymore than I did.  So we compromised and pulled off some of the carrot foliage that they were clinging to and moved them across the garden that way.

Over to my cilantro patch.

I have plenty of cilantro.  It re-seeded itself and is coming up all over my garden, so I don’t hesitate to share it.  My carrots however?  I only have three short rows and I have never grown them before and I am super excited to see if they actually produce any carrots and well… not really feeling very generous with them.

Sorry swallowtails!

But here’s some crappy cilantro for you!

And then I showed Jack the only swallowtail trick I know…

If you lightly brush their heads with a leaf or a twig…

These two bright orange horn things pop out.

I guess the swallowtail believes that this will keep a predator from gobbling him up.

I think the swallowtail might be sadly mistaken about the power of his orange horns…

But I did not tell him that.

In other garden news…

These are my beans.

They took FOREVER to sprout!

I almost gave up hope!

But they finally came up.


I acidified the center bed of the new garden by adding soil sulfur.

And then I planted a few acid loving plants in this bed.

Lupine – a perrennial flower….

And blueberries!

Here are my half frozen tomato plants.

They are doing very well.

So are the peppers and eggplant that also suffered frost damage.

So here is the new garden.

It looks pretty bare, but it is actually full of new life.

And here is the old garden.

Burstin’ at the seams.

And here is a potato flower.



  • Véronique Gölz:

    You have a very promising garden here. I like the way you handle pest control on your plants. You are really doing a good job, and it really gives me the incentive to get out in my own garden and start to work. Thanks.

  • What did you add to acidify the soil? I have one blueberry plant in a container and so far it seems OK, but would like it to do better.

  • LucyJoy:

    I planted my garden last week. Zucchini on a pot on the deck. The tomatoes have been really good at Costco, so I decided not to plant them & most everything else I’d like to plant, the deer would love as well.

    • Rechelle:

      Something is nibbling on my bean plants. I am wondering if it is deer.

  • susan:

    do your bean plants have a fungus on the underside or is that soil from being watered? we are having such a severe drought in Houston. so severe that it has broken the record for previous springs. horrible it is – as is the heat. when you mentioned foliage I recall once Woody Allen said in one of his films that he hates it when people say ‘foilage’ in lieu of foliage and ‘nucular’ in lieu of nuclear. dont know why i thought of that….just meandering thoughts.

    • Rechelle:

      It’s mud. We have all the rain that Houston is missing.

  • poppy:

    I really love the soft, mint- green tones of these pictures. Very soothing.

  • GA in GA:

    Dear Rechelle,
    Please send part of your rain to us. We’re at an 11+ inch rain deficit for the year.
    P.S. Your blueberries are looking good! And much more productive than mine.

  • Mac:

    More pictures of the garden! I started my first this year and I am eager for more information!