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BONNIE'S GARDEN--A Little Patience...


Okay, so patience is not one of my best virtues.  I plant an eight inch tall tomato seedling and would like to see little fruits on it the next week.  I’d like that two inch long cucumber to be ready to pick right now.  I want those buds on my Knock-Out rose to open already.  And when I plant bee balm, clover, Echinacea and Black-Eyed Susans for the bees and butterflies I want to see them swarming around the flowers.  Right now!  Unfortunately, they have not exactly been swarming--for several years, they have not been swarming…

But I sat out on my deck Sunday for a few minutes when I suddenly noticed a bee—a real live honeybee—zipping around the bee balm in my back yard.  I sat and watched him go from flower to flower while I tried to figure out when I last saw a honeybee in my yard.  Over a year ago?  Two?  While I sat watching, a little brownish butterfly (a Skipper?) began flitting from flower to flower.  Then a second bee joined the first. 

Twelve years ago, I would have had a whole traffic jam of bees and butterflies around my bee balm, but the past several years I have seen precious few—the past two years only a very few butterflies and no honeybees at all.  I’ve looked around my neighborhood and bemoaned the fact that almost none of my neighbors plant flowers.  I even wrote a blog around it (A Green Desert--July, 2016).  Why would bees or butterflies want to fly over acres of nothing but green just to get to my little yard? 

I still kept planting flowers, though.  Food for my soul, if not food for bees and butterflies.  But this year, it seems as if the bees and butterflies are coming back.  Not in droves, necessarily, but coming back nonetheless.  What has changed?  Well, my neighbor across the street planted some flowers out front.  Said she liked looking at my yard so decided to plant a few things in her yard.  What do you know? Planting flowers can be contagious!

So, I’ll just keep planting flowers and trying to garden as environmentally friendly as possible.  I always try to find organic solutions for problems—hand-picking problem insects, if possible, etc.  On the rare occasions I do use an organic insecticide, I make sure I spray just before dark—to give bees and butterflies a chance to go home first.

And sometimes, while I’m trying to do all the right things, I’ll try a little patience, too.
 
Posted: 7/11/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: bees, Bonnie's, butterflies, Garden
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