Every year in late spring I begin searching my rue, curly parsley, and fennel for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Every time I find one, I feel blessed. That may seem cliche, but it's true. Caterpillar compliments are always my favorite.
Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in different stages of development in the smokey fennel. I counted ten caterpillars. Smokey fennel can be found in the herb section of most garden centers and is usually very inexpensive.
This is my NanoFarm where I'm growing the fennel, tomatoes, ground cherries, carrots, and sweet potatoes. My sweet potato slips haven't come yet so a few pots are still empty. The carrots have sprouted but aren't in this picture. Birdhouses hang from the shepherd's crooks. The giant shrub in the background is a Rose of Sharon.
My sunny-side bed in the late afternoon light. This picture was taken from the dry river bed garden which was just added in April. Only part of the river bed garden is visible in this photo and the new plants are still tiny.