May is the wackiest, loveliest month, swinging from soaring heat to frigid cold. Now that the month is almost over, seasonable temps have arrived, and we've gotten some nice rain. Despite this roller coaster weather, most of the plants survived.
We grow hardy perennials, reseeding heirlooms, wildflowers (some might be called weeds), herbs...greens, especially Swiss chard, and a forest of dill. It's possible I accidentally planted two seed packets. We're reluctant to thin the excess as swallowtail butterfly caterpillars feed on the ferny foliage. Much of the dill is left to bury whatever else we had in that vicinity. Carrots, maybe...beets... Some of the adult butterflies are soaring about the garden(s).
(Image of Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar and ladybug below taken today)
Our garden is not carefully planned, and exists as much for the bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects as for us. We have a lot of ladybugs, lacewings, baby praying mantis, hover flies that resemble honey bees but are beneficials...and I'm not sure what, but a lot of good bugs to battle the bad. The plants often determine what grows. Those that do well tend to be takeover varieties, requiring some management. By August it's a jungle. Every single year. But this spring we've mulched with a lot of hay, made valiant attempts at order. We even mulched many of the flower beds with bark like other people do, leaving spots for the reseeding flowers to do their thing, and make frequent rounds to pull out weeds, thistles, etc. But the 'etc.' has a way of overcoming all. Perhaps it's best to do what we can and glory in the untamed beauty. We rarely achieve tamed.
(Swiss Chard with Peas behind below)
Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. ~Marcelene Cox
My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Dale (Thanks, Anne)
Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson
The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932
Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown
I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse
Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion
Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens, noproblemgarden.com
How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli
The garden is the poor man's apothecary. ~German Proverb
Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897 (Thanks, Jessica)
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson