Now we await butterfly bushes and butterflies

Our butterfly garden, from the left side of the triangle.

Our butterfly garden, from the left side of the triangle.

The team gardening effort for my dear wife Karen and I focused this afternoon on the butterfly garden triangle in the backyard of our home in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood.

I planted the last two newbies, a pair of lavender plants to take the place of a previously hardy spreader that up and died this past winter. Karen fiddled with the ever-thickening patch of day lilies once more, placing several in far corners of our property.

The finished garden from the right side of the fenced triangle.

The finished garden from the right side of the fenced triangle.

I bought six bags of black mulch at the big box, and poured. We both spread and patted.

The four butterfly bushes all have green sprouts gathering above the ground line. They’ll grow fast now, and will overtake the dry branches from last year.

Then will come months of blossoms. And butterflies, hopefully, with after-work/pre-dinner time spent in our red plastic Adirondack chairs watching Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle running around and showing off, as we talk about our days, appreciating it all.

Heavy with beauty.

Heavy with beauty.

Out front, the peony plant is bursting with blossoms, every bud opened gloriously. I count 15 flowers.

Amazingly, the stems are holding the weight of all that nature gave them.

Clippings, gone.

Clippings, gone.

And since I harped consistently about the increasing three-week-plus collection of grass clippings, branches and pine cones that the city crew was late in scooping up, I figured I must also deliver the picture of what the backhoe scoop left behind when the collectors came through our block Friday afternoon.

Are your grounds rounding into shape? What are your favorite times of the day to sit back and enjoy the sights? Do you spot butterflies where you live?

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58 thoughts on “Now we await butterfly bushes and butterflies

  1. Wow, your city collects unbagged yard clippings? That’s cool. Here we have to put them all in recyclable brown paper bags and they are collected about once a month. Once in the fall and once in the spring we can put out bigger stuff from the yard like big branches, etc. Great pictures Mark.

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    • You can put them in brown paper bags, which I do with the grass clippings, or you can pile them together, too, which I did with some old sod pieced that I dug up last fall that turned to muddy mush over the winter. The city is supposed to come once a month for this garden recycling, but was three weeks late this month.

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  2. It takes a lot of effort to maintain The Great Lawn of The House on the Hill. As a result, the gardens suffer because I am too exhausted to do anything exciting with them. Your place looks great, though!

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  3. looks fantastic – I can picture you both sitting in the garden in a few weeks time. Glad the clippings were taken.

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  4. “Are your grounds rounding into shape?”

    GF is nappin’ and I am “fixin'” (great Texan word that), to mow the yard in a vain attempt to scare up some good Karma. (and justification for some beers)
    Wish me luck!

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  5. you are really ‘going to town’ on your yard and gardens! I am blessed with OWU’s campus, with their arboretum, my son’s garden to be, along with my good friends who have occasional ‘deck parties’ and ‘garden picnics.’ So fun to see what you and Karen are up to, love butterflies and am looking forward to a photo of some soon… I have a few pics from walks in woods and parks! Smiles, Robin

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  6. Beautiful! Gardening is so damn therapeutic. I have a honeysuckle vine that attracts hummingbirds like CAHrazy! I sit on my patio and watch them by the dozen. So mesmerizing. I have a huge butterfly bush outside my family room window. It’s pretty cool when it’s blooming during Monarch season!

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    • So marvelous, Beth. Hummingbirds are so cool, those little buggers dart so fast. Our next door neighbor caters to them, and we watch them come on over the fence and clap in delight. Good placement for your butterfly bush, too, so you can spot the Monarchs right out the family room. Way to go!

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  7. I love seeing the progress of your gardening efforts…very inspiring! Keep em coming! When you say butterfly bush do you mean a buddlea? ( not sure of spelling).

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  8. Butterfly bushes are very pretty, and I hope you get lots of b’flies, especially Monarchs. There are varieties of decorative milkweed you might want to put in so they’ll be tempted to lay their eggs there. Nice to see how much you are enjoying your summer retreat. Enjoy!

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  9. My neighbor would love you. And you would love our neighbors (who happen to old the official title of WORLD’S GREATEST NEIGHBORS!). Your yard and their yard would compliment one another beautifully. Ours is green, trimmed and picket fenced. 🙂

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  10. it’s so beautiful, it’s really coming along nicely and i see i need to recruit another worker on my garden team. )
    i think i (as well as you and karen and many others) really, really appreciate the garden and yard beauty this year after the insane winter we all suffered through this year. i love to sit and look at it all, or walk around my little yard, in the evening when everything has been watered and it’s lush and green and colorful. i love the butterflies too, but don’t have many, and my butterfly bush has sadly died. time to add something else to the garden )

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    • Oh, no. Not the butterfly bush! We have to get another one in there. They look so lovely and last long into the autumn, Beth.

      I think you are right. This harsh winter has made us all ready to enjoy the green and other summer colors even more than usual.

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    • Thanks, Cat. We have had good luck with four butterfly bushes. That’s what they’re actually called. We have a bunch of day lilies, and lavendar, and daisies, and dianthus, and bee balm. They’re all good for our climate, which is much like yours, I believe.

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