A good omen (if you believe in those, which I don’t)


After recent back surgery, I expect the period for recovery will be brief enough that I will remain unqualified to write on the topic of gardening with physical limitations. Already, I have plucked a weed or three, and since I have nothing better to do while recovering, no doubt this activity will pick up. So far, the more I do, the more I can do, and this seems a good sign.Tiger swallowtails on Joe Pye weed

Certainly, I could make a cornball correlation to relate my return to the sudden appearance of dozens of Tiger swallowtails in the garden. But, this would be nonsense. There is no doubt, however, that in only a few days the number of yellow and black swallowtails has greatly increased. Probably, recent inches of rain have encouraged nectar production.Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed in mid July

While cultivars of Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, above) are only beginning to flower, seedlings growing a few feet away in shallow water of the koi pond have been blooming for a few weeks. When these first flowered there were few of the types of flowers that are attractive to butterflies, but now there are handfuls of swallowtails and assorted smaller butterflies and moths on the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus, below) and Pickerrel weed (Pontederia cordata).Chaste tree in July

The afternoon is on and off cloudy with short periods of sun, and I observe butterflies in greater abundance in sun than on cloudy days. I suspect that sun increases the flower’s scent


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nancy Cost says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well!

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Hmmm – you weren’t gone at all! That’s good news. Don’t rush it though and undo the good the surgery has done. Happy to see your post.

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve committed to writing a few times each week, and thought that the best case might be much worse than what I’ve experienced. So, while I’m a long way from back to normal, I am only slightly limited in getting around the garden.

  3. Ang Lee says:

    Glad you are recovering nicely. Do be ever so careful! Might I suggest a sturdy walking staff. It suits many purposes. Even after you are fully recovered.
    The English gardener.

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