Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, August 8, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: A Fertile Space

Several years ago, two things happened. One, the neighborhood had sewers installed and so the front yards of everyone on my side of the street were ripped up almost halfway towards the house (we have no sidewalks), and two, I put a butterfly garden in since the dirt was already torn up, so no heavy digging necessary.

Literally, I took something that was meant for shit, and was torn to shit, and transformed it into something that could be beautiful and full of life.

Fledgling butterfly garden with a few plants and the butterfly house
That year for my birthday, Bryce got me a ton of plants for the garden, a butterfly house, and the directions for officially having my garden designated as a butterfly habitat (which sadly I still haven't sent in, because it was strangely complicated and involved promising all sorts of things I wasn't sure were enforceable, and I regret this because I really wanted my official little sign out there). It was the best gift.

Since installing the garden, it has grown and grown and now is quite the explosion of butterfly, bee, and hummingbird-friendly plants. Gardening is a form of therapy for me, and it doesn't escape me that it's satisfying to see something that I tend and plant grow into a lush, fertile space, since I can't seem to do that for my own biological microcosm.

Just a tad more grown in, no? The butterfly house sort of got decapitated this year, so it's on the ground under the blueberries. 
This year is special -- I have seen not just the swallowtails of various kinds but monarchs, too, hummingbird couples, and a zillion honeybees thanks to the amazing colony that lives in my neighbor's semi-hollowed-out tree.

Spicebush Swallowtail in my bee balm (technically cheating because this is the backyard, but I see them frequently out front and just didn't get as good a picture...).
And, the best thing of all -- I may not have my official sign, but I am definitely a waystation since I have the ultimate marker that my garden really is a monarch haven, that I am part of their migratory journey from Mexico to California and back. It makes me happy that although our own nursery remains empty, I am providing an excellent home for a little tiny baby monarch.

My new friend, munching on the milkweed pods and (hopefully) avoiding the birds.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. Ahh!! You have all the pollinators in the New England area!!! I've been looking for them all summer.

    The garden is beautiful. Seriously. I would love to spend time I. It with you, walking through and laying among the flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love my gardens. The butterfly one is my favorite, because that grows so high (the Joe Pye Weed is easily 7 feet tall now) that it's like a privacy screen and I can set up a chair behind it and not be seen by anyone. :) The drought is really awful, but it seems to not effect the bee balm which is having its best year ever. I would love to walk around the garden with you! And yay pollinators... they are my friends. Those, along with the snake that lives under my front steps, make my summers so happy.

      Delete
  2. LOVE this! I may have to give this a shot next year - our landlords have offered us spots in the yard to garden before, but I've never felt I could. You've inspired me - thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad! You can do so much for pollinators even with a container garden. So many great plants that make the critters happy (and add beauty to the garden!).

      Delete
    2. Ooo, containers - didn't even think of that! Thanks again!

      Hey, in case you don't get an alert that I replied to your comment on my blog post, I wanted to leave this link here too (if you're ever in the Concord NH area, I think this might join your list of favorite bookstores) -

      http://www.gibsonsbookstore.com/

      Delete
  3. I love your garden! I wish I could do something like that, but my husband's allergies are so bad that we pretty much can't have plants that have lots of flowers or he can't stop sneezing :( I also love your analogy of the garden to your body, what a great way of looking at it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's a tough problem...not sure I have any thoughts to combat the sneezing yet have pretty flowers. :( My poor garden...always serving as some sort of analogy to my reproductive system. :)

      Delete
  4. In my mind, I create gardens like you have, beautiful enough to grace magazine covers. In reality, I have flower beds overgrown with weeds and the raspberry bushes I haphazardly planted not thinking they would take over.... I may have grown up on a farm, but I did not grow a green thumb!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful sanctuary! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! There are weeds, I assure you. :) Oh, raspberries are so yummy but they are so invasive. Mint, too. I like having mint but in containers because they spread like mad. I give away plants a lot, mostly the echinacea and forget-me-nots (but be wary of gifted plants from gardens because it means they spread a LOT!). Here's the funny -- I am great with outdoor gardens, but can't keep an indoor plant alive to save my life. So it's a specific kind of green thumb... :) Thanks for your kind words for my gardens!

      Delete
  5. That is pretty cool! Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! So neat to see a monarch caterpillar in real life.

      Delete
  6. Oooh, beautiful! I admire people like you who can garden and grow plants so well (I have zero talent in that area). What an amazing garden and how cool to see the monarch caterpillar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I admit, my style of gardening is "Darwin Gardening" -- I don't do a ton of interfering. I amend the soil earlier in the season or when I plant new things, I hand-water a bit if it's dry (like this stupid drought), and I weed. If it doesn't survive with that, it doesn't stay in the garden! :) It really was cool to see a monarch caterpillar up close and personal.

      Delete
  7. Gorgeous!! I too have a fondness for butterflies, but I never had the patience for much gardening. I love your Cape Cod-style house in the background, too. :)

    ReplyDelete