A Weeder Regrets...

It's been an interesting end to the Summer Season.  One where, my to-do list fell by the wayside, sidetracked by being a mom, working at my shop, and more importantly...one of the worst mosquito seasons in many years.  The last two weeks have been dryer than usual and I've been able to finally walk through the gardens a bit.  And to my surprise a "weed" I normally pull by now had took up position in nearly every bed and border.  Left to flourish, I now have strange plants towering some, 10-12 feet high with a bounty of tiny blue, almost chicory blooms...which every butterfly has preferred over every native and non-native blooming.
I had to investigate!  After searching through many Louisiana natives, I've settled on common name "woodland lettuce".  It is edible, but apparently less bitter when under 12".  It also can be cooked down.  For now, I'm satisfied with it's pollinator appeal.
And, I'm really sorry that I pulled it year after year.  Because, hello...it hosted our first Fall monarch...a female!
I regularly see monarchs at our store each Fall, but at the Farmette, it is rare.  So, let's see if things improve with this new native thriving.  I'd like to save some seed heads and really plan for a proper area for it next year.  If you think you'd like this type of seed offered, please let me know in the comments.  Thanks!
~Lisa

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