The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough – Rabindranath Tagore
Every September I am enamored with the convergence of all matter of butterflies on Maison Steinbuchel. The flurry of peaceful activity brings out the child in me as I stand right in the middle of my flower bed and let the joy of these flying flowers surround me. It lifts my soul and cleanses any drudgery the day may have brought.
The season begins in May and June when the bleuet or cornflowers, whose original seed I purchased at Monet’s garden in Giverny France. begin to bloom. By July 4th these have faded and multicolored zinnias, which also originated from M. Monet’s garden, begin their season. I do not plant these each year as seeds from the previous year emerge on their own. I simply carefully remove spent flowers, unwanted weeds, and grass. Alongside the zinnias, rouge lemon basil also grows. This combination seems to appeal to butterflies since they come in droves.
Of course, there are bees and even birds, all enjoying each other’s company while keeping my nearby veggie garden pollinated and reasonably pest-free.
Butterflies and Purple Things
There is also a walkway, made up of 4-inch thick limestone slabs. Its plantings include:
- purple mums brought from our California garden when we moved here in 1988
- sweet potato vines from the Flower Ranch
- Texas-sized coleus from the Flower Ranch
- creeping thyme step-ables from local garden centers
- native phlox – a gift from a neighbor
- zinnias that self-sowed
- rose moss that self-sowed
The butterflies also enjoy this area, and our cats sit for hours entertained by the flying flowers.
As summer winds down and autumn begins to show herself, the butterflies represent, that although a winter rest is coming, spring will again come forth from the seeds being sown. They too will return. For now, I sit and enjoy their beauty.
If you want to enjoy this little bit of heaven on earth make a plan now to create your own garden next spring. To learn how to make your own butterfly garden you don’t have to get seeds from France. I suggest P. Allen Smith as a resource. Once established, it takes minimal effort to maintain.
As this butterfly season winds down, here is a video of the season to hold as autumn drifts in.
Please comment below on your impressions of this “impressionist” garden!