God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon (1625) Essays ‘Of Gardens’
In the midst of pandemic confusion, three stabilizers: zinnias, Butterflies and the Monet Garden at Maison Steinbuchel have provided peace and a sort of anchor this summer. The March into April shutdown prevented visiting the garden centers, but most flowers came back from seed. Especially the zinnias, the butterfly magnets!
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 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. This year, they have been stabilizers as well.
By July 4th these have faded and multicolored zinnias, who also originated from M. Monet’s garden, begin their season. I simply transplant them when they are young.
Among side the zinnias, rogue 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
The walkway, made up of 4 inch thick limestone slabs, is lined with:
- purple mums brought from our California garden when we moved here in 1988
- sweet potato vines
- creeping thyme step-ables from local garden centers
- native phlox – a gift from a neighbor (another butterfly magnet)
- zinnias that self sows
- rose moss that self sows
The butterflies enjoy the walkway as well. Our cats sit for hours entertained by the flying flowers.
As this very odd and challenging 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 enjoy their beauty and the stability they demonstrate.
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.
How are you enjoying this last bit of summer? What simple things have you discovered? Please share in the comments!