Milkweed Bugs, Roses, and Mushrooms

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T.G.I.F. Everybody,

As mentioned last Friday, I am posting misc pics from 2016 in the order of being downloaded to one massive folder.

Here’s this Friday’s set of 5:


I left off on my prior post at the Scantic River in East Windsor, CT. During a nature walk there last year, we came across a stand of milkweed plants covered in brightly colored orange and black speckled bugs.


It was covered with milkweed bugs. I thought, these little buggers are not in a garden – and I bet they are thankful for that because in gardens, people don’t enjoy critters.

It turns out these are not as big of a nuisance and may be left alone. They do not do major damage and stay for only a short time. Witnessing this was not for the type of people with creepy-crawly issues – there were tons of them moving about in the sun.


My father bush-hogs this property from time to time so there are some areas which are wide open with miscellaneous native plants here and there.

Growing up on this property provided me with many opportunities to be curious about nature.

I remember opening up the pods of the milkweed to inspect the contents, always amazed by the fluffy material with brown seed heads. Blowing them into the wind after pulling them apart, and walking away with sticky fingers from the sap of the plant.


The next photo is of a shelf-mushroom on a big tree we came across.

I don’t know much about mushrooms other than being aware that IF you wish to grow or harvest them, you must know about them because many are poisonous.

It appears it is enjoying its location on a damaged tree. You can see the bark is stripped away, and a big vine was wrapping around this tree. Mushrooms like decaying environments to sit upon.


When we were getting back to my parents’ house from our walk by the river, I stopped by to smell my mother’s yellow roses.

She told me the name of this beautiful yellow one – and gosh, darn it – right now I can’t recall it. It was named after someone famous easily remembered too. Will have to call her later.

Yellow roses, as it turns out, happens to be one of my favorite colors of roses. When my husband gets me some for special occasions, he usually orders yellow.

Growing Greens at The Market:

And just a final reminder, I will be demonstrating growing micro-greens at the Ellington Farmers Market on January 28th (tomorrow) @ 2:30 pm in the children’s room which is adjacent to the vendors at 11 Pinney Street at the YMCA building.

The demo should be about 30 minutes followed by question/answer session. Starter Kits will be available for purchase at $15 each which includes sales tax. The kit contains seeds with the materials to get started right away at growing your own mini-greens at your home, however, a limited supply is available so it will be first come first serve.

It appears there will be a good turn out so if you wish to have a seat, visit the Facebook Event under Ellington Farmers Market page and click attending.

New Workshops for 2017:

They have been posted to

Be sure to visit – we have many topics lined up.

Spring is in the air in January when it comes to pre-planning.

There are topics on Botanical Wall Art (new in March), Terrarium Bowls (new in April), Container Gardening (held annually in May), and more. It will be a fun-filled year.

Thank you,

Cathy Testa
Owner of Cathy T’s Landscape Designs and Container Crazy CT
860-977-9473 (texts are welcome!)

“A blog about plants, container gardening, and combining nature with art.”


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