The Butterfly Garden Rises ...
One of the great surprises of the past two seasons has been Honi - The Butterfly Garden -- down in an unused corner of the yard. It was the space for a regular garden, I assume, put in by the earlier owners, but we made nothing of it until last season when we dumped some garden soil on it and, like Onan, spread some seeds upon the ground.
Last year was good.
This year is great.
And there is nothing like watching the news in the morning, then wandering down to the chairs with a cup of coffee to decompress from said news.
What Are They? I Dunno. The Seeds Went Out Willy Nilly.
We have cone flowers and numerous varieties of milkweed (from common to fancy), a few weeds that were determined to grow and that my assistants refuse to cut out ("They got prickers!") as well as all sorts of other fun things that just make the garden both colorful and delightful.
And peaceful. That's what it is. Peaceful.
A Bee Asks for Clearance to Land on the USS Harry Truman
(So I name my flowers ... )
Despite the "prickers," Mr. Bitterman and Furious George are asking if they can take over the care, feeding and growing of the Butterfly Garden. I find it interesting as there's really nothing much to do other than turn on the water every other day for 15 minutes and then watch it grow. The two have been spending a lot of afternoons down in the Adirondack chairs, wearing big sun hats and binge watching Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Alf episodes until called up for dinner. I've had to take over the weeding of the vegetable gardens, where we are growing an impressive crop.
(Those new little bell peppers we put in last week are not going to make it I'm afraid. The garlic is looking pretty squirrely, too. BUT -- we have a cucumber, the squash are doing great, and the tomato plants are taking off, as are the Socorro peppers. So, many of the veg are doing their happy little vegetating thing.)
The Reason for the Butterfly Garden
We really did this to create a small plot, a safe zone, if you will, for butterflies and bees to congregate, pollinate and refresh themselves.
We're quite happy with it.
So is Roscoe, who spends a lot of his time running back and forth through the colorful jungle, in a mad search for rabbits, squirrels, snakes and anything else with the bold temerity to enter his yard.
We're working with him on that.
Bitterman Eats the Profits ... While .... Furious Dances to HIs Own Beat
Mr. Bitterman, I do believe, has not only made peace with our Bat Shit Crazy Neighbor, but has also struck a deal with the BSCN for our cucumber and squash crop. What is left, it seems, he'll just eat.
Meanwhile, Furious George is loving the Butterfly Garden and regularly dressing up to perform "L'apres-midi d'un faune" ("Afternoon of the Faun" as choreographed by Nijinsky).
His performance brought us to tears. It was simply breathtaking.
I'm suggesting he take it on the road, but only after growing season. My argument is that most of the theaters are dark in the summer and there is so little call for this quality of dance until Autumn, as most people are looking for light Summer Stock Productions of "George M," "South Pacific" and the musical version of "Murder She Wrote."
Besides, I need the help.
I most certainly do.
The Year Old Cow Who Has Yet to Produce Year Old Manure
We've Gone From This ...
... to this ...
... and this ...
... and this ...
... and even this. Yes, I'm growing old, fat, short guys along with the grafted tomatoes.
A couple of the little bell pepper plants are struggling, I don't know if it's the heat or the shock of being transplanted (I saved them from the dumpster at O'Toole's). but I've got to say that the celery is going bat shit crazy in one of the pots.
It was almost an afterthought, now that I look back at our festival of planting. I asked Becky if she wanted celery in the garden and she said "why not?" That's all it took. Mr. Bitterman complained that you can't really sell celery because selling celery sounds like some kind of word game, liking constant punning or weird rhyme schemes, but after Furious George insisted that once you grow your own celery, you won't go back to the store bought kind, it sold us.
Bitterman and Furious, by the way, are looking good in their 3-T Lee's Junior Farmer's Overalls.
(I've noticed a lot more people wearing overalls lately. And in weird places. I've owned a pair in the past (like the 70s) and wore them for yard work, but they just seem out of place nowadays in the airport or just about anyplace out in public. I do admit, they are being worn by old guys who seem like they no longer give a shit, but they still don't work.)
Bitterman in a Mood.
The small plants up front here, just behind the coffee drinking frog and the algae infested rain gauge (more about that in a minute) are the Socorro peppers grown from seed. The little tomatoes at the far left were grown from seed as well. Both are coming along, I just hope we have a long enough growing season to reap some benefits. In other words, no September snow storms like the one when Devon was born -- a foot of heavy wet snow that broke trees and busted gardens like nobody's business. Well, that is what the hoops are for. (By the way, that's a pine cone in the middle of the picture just about the head of our coffee drinking frog. It's not a present from the dogs, the squirrels, the bunnies or any other of the casual visitors to the garden that have been stopping by on a regular basis.)
As for the rain gauge, it isn't there to measure the rain, for some reason. It appears to be there to catch the spray from the garden sprinklers, hold said spray, and grow fascinating kinds of water plants, like algae and brown goo. The yellowjackets seem fascinated by it, but it's basically a pain to clean every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It's amazing that any of this has survived the season, given the heat and the fact that bunnies and Roscoe have gone racing through the garden in their regular Chase to the Death routines this summer. (Score at the moment -- Roscoe - 2 Rabbits and One Squirrel/Squirrels and Bunnies -Zero, unless you count a disgusting case of tapeworms as a Bunny Win.)
We've been trying to train him to leave the wildlife alone, for his sake as well as theirs, but it's a long, slow process and Cesar Milan I am not.
Roscoe wants to run his yard. The squirrels and bunnies want to gambol in the bulrushes as well. There's going to be fisticuffs, no doubt. God can't keep throwing furry tennis balls in the yard and not expect Roscoe to react.
Sadie just sits and watches. (We should rename her Chauncey Gardener.)
The Grafted Tomato Plant. (Good Lord! Am I guilty of Genetic Modification? Who Do I think I am? God? A God? Or a Demi-God? With My Luck, I'd be One of the Inferior Demi-Gods, like Rhesus of Thrace, which makes me sound like yet another minkey scampering around the backyard.)
Frankly, there doesn't seem to be as much plant maturity for early July as there has been in the past, despite regular kelp treatments. Maybe it is because we have a lot more space in which to grow, and, much of the garden has been taken up with growth from seed, which is still finding its height and bulk right now.
Basically, we've still got a lot of small stuff and the plants aren't jammed together as they were in the past.
On the other hand, we still have a great new crop of winter squash and cucumbers, which are going gangbusters, mainly due to a recent visit to the garden by Presidential hopeful Darnold Trump. He exhorted the plants to grow and make America Grate Again, as he is against any form of shredded cheese.
What a guy. Taking time out of his busy schedule to rant at my vegetables and to make my model trains run on time.