When I hear the word “garden” I think of an area that was put in with a lot of thought. Something planned. Neat sections of either veggies or flowers, shrubs, etc. Areas that people admire and might say “Wow, that’s impressive!”
My garden areas are planned, but what’s actually planted in them are a bit haphazard. They need some work (always) and I wouldn’t use the words “neat” or “wow” in any description of them. No, someone would most likely say something more like, “Oh, how… nice. Must be a lot of work.” Which really means: “You don’t spend a lot of time weeding, do you?”
I put plants in flower beds with the hope that they live and look somewhat attractive. Attractive to me. Attractive to the birds and butterflies. As they get out of hand, I try to wrangle them in… the beds, not the birds and butterflies.
My flower beds are often the result of experiments in what will or won’t grow in a particular spot. They won’t attract any local Garden Club visitors or awards. However, no matter what the areas look like, I will have visitors that appreciate my efforts… visitors in the form of squirrels, rabbits, and the aforementioned birds and butterflies. (Other insects will not be talked about. I have declared them, especially those that bite, insecta non gratis.)
The birds enjoy plantings they can hide or nest in. The rabbits enjoy just about anything they can eat. I have had to say goodbye to many a colorful flower due to them being a tasty treat for the bunnies. (That’s ok. I like watching bunnies and have had several over the years who trust me enough to let me get close.) The squirrels enjoy digging in the flower beds and taking the occasional nibble at the roots of some of the plants. Then there are the butterflies who seem to enjoy everything.
Sadly, the many varieties that used to come have diminished over the years. However, the little white ones still love to hang around and keep returning summer after summer. I’m no expert, but they look like ones called “southern white”. These little visitors to my garden are quite active. They dance from flower to flower, and plant to plant, as they seem to explore and delight in what is out there.
Due to their continued presence and apparent delight in my yard, I included them in a series of paintings for an art show I had in June. It was my way of saying, thank you little butterflies, I appreciate you and you can be visitors to my garden any time you want.
And bring your friends.