Monday, July 22, 2013

butterfly bush

                               To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, 
                               One clover, and a bee,
                               And revery.
                               The revery alone will do
                               If bees are few.
                                                                             Emily Dickinson

Its would be easy to focus on the weeds.  Because honestly?  There are oodles of weeds in our gardens.  And really, the lawn needs to be mowed and the weed whacker needs to be taken out of the barn and fired up and used to tame the wild grasses that are taking over along our fences and out buildings.  We are just a bit untamed.

So I could focus on that. The mess, the lack of beauty that exists in our yard right now.

Or, I could focus on the peas, lettuce, kale, every manner of herbs, and beets that are some part of every meal these days.  Despite the fact that these plants are surviving amongst a tangle of unintentional cohabitants.  I'll do that instead.

And our peach tree, which is providing us with fruit, sweet and precious.

In the garden, I am weeding row by row.  Before we escaped the heat yesterday and headed to my parents' camp to swim and enjoy the mountains' relative chill, I worked a bit in the garden. I reclaimed a path that had been overgrown with weeds, rescuing the cucumber hills that were all but invisible in the tall grass, intermingled with a few ornamental strawberries and mint as well.

Though I could not see them before I started weeding, apparently the bees could still find them.  As I made my way down to them, I thought I could hear the cucumbers gasping for air.  But the bees were already down in there. I will work on clearing out the onion patch and the asparagus patch next.

Despite my days of not getting out there, things seem to be moving along.  I will soon have late-planted broccoli to add to our dinner options, and a fresh row of peas and several rows of beans that are not far behind.

But the weeds in the vegetable garden are only the beginning of our problem.

Last year, I turned a small area, a garden that was near the house and next to the patio where we often eat outside, into a butterfly garden.  I planted perennial plants that I love, echoing those that I have long admired at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.  We visit this garden each summer, as it is in the town where Jonathan and I met.  It is a place that our children have visited often and have come to love as well.

There are some lovely insect friendly plants in our butterfly garden and, despite its needing to be pruned and tidied up, it is alive, abuzz with working insects.  I spent a good while trying to photograph some of the insect life that we are attracting to our garden.  Admittedly, instead of weeding.  Like the garden bees, these creatures don't seem to mind the obstacle course they need to run in order to get to the nectar and pollen.

Perhaps the long grasses of the prairie are exactly what we want here.  Then they would not be weeds anymore.  They may not be beautiful in a formal garden, but they do seem to be bringing all these creatures to us.

So maybe I'll focus on that. The life, the beauty that exists in our yard right now.

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