Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Garden Visitors

I'm very pleased with my little garden this year.  For a minimal amount of effort, I managed some good results.  I've already blogged about my turnips.  They lasted, crisp, sweet and crunchy, for a good month. This was my third year planting them, and I will definitely grow them again.

New Jersey is named the Garden State for good reason. In summer, every nook and cranny sprouts something green, especially when we have as much rain as this year. While I wasn't looking, my garden grew some very lush weeds. Birds and butterflies were enjoying the seeds by the time I pulled them, and I almost hated to take their feast away. Still, I had to keep some order.

I grew zinnias again this year, and they are still going strong. I noticed that they attracted many lovely visitors: monarch butterflies, black swallowtails, and some beautiful tiger swallowtails.  I also had a hummingbird this year, which is unusual. I tried to get a photo, but it was too fast for me. You'll have to take my word for it.

For several years now, the blue swallowtails have left eggs on my parsley. They hatch and grow into rather huge and gorgeous caterpillars.  Last year my grandkids were aching to keep them for pets. So far, no one has successfully hatched a butterfly, but no doubt they'll try again.  I have learned to plant an entire 1/2 barrel in parsley so there is enough to share. I still have some stalks with leaves eaten off by this year's invasion.  Maybe you can see a few here...

This is my first year to see tiger swallowtails. Such gorgeous creatures, I had to write about them.

Butterfly grace notes
Hover over my zinnias
Prompting a duet

©Karen Eastlund

So, there you have it! A little haiku ditty to celebrate the beauty in the world.  Enjoy!  And come back soon, please, because I have another garden story for you.


  1. Karen, I never stopped to think about the nickname Garden State for NJ. Thanks for sharing why it has that name. Your garden was bountiful. My parsley never made it through the summer but the basil is plentiful. Your poem and Image combo make for a great image poem. If you don't mind I am copy both of them into one offering for my autumn gallery. Thanks.

  2. That's a lot of parsley! Butterflies do inspire poetry, don't they? Love the "grace notes."

  3. Tabatha: I have learned an easy way to save parsley through the winter. I wash & dry it and cut the leaves into a ziplock bag, then roll it tightly. Into the freezer it goes, where it makes a little parsley log. I chop off from it as needed. Easy and good, and the leaves are still bright.

  4. We just don't have much rain, but this past spring we had more than usual & the garden flowers were wonderful to see. Now dry again, much is hanging on, but I love seeing yours, Karen, hearing about your beautiful butterflies (& hummingbird), and that "duet".

  5. Both your poem and your garden are beautiful. My flowers did well this year, but our veggies didn't do so well.

  6. I plant zinnias every year and love the ballet of butterflies it attracts. I love your line butterfly grace notes -- that is it!

  7. How wonderful to find you on my PF rounds this week, Karen! I wish I was more of a gardener. Your zinnias make me smile... as does your garden haiku!