Right about now, over at the home of Muse-ings , vsperry will be orchestrating order in an area of her garden which she describes as “A Fine Mess”. I would simply leave out the word “Mess” and call it “Fine”, or, as in the case of my own garden, refer to the “Mess” as ” Channelling one’s inner “Piet Oudolf” (with apologies to Piet 😉 ).
For the greater part of the summer and fall, this wilderness of mostly self-sown plantings was the scene from my bedroom window.
It was a sight that gave me much pleasure, for all the weeds, entangled foliage and seeming disorder.
The garden bed was not carefully planned like one of Piet Oudolf’s masterpieces (OBVIOUSLY), but I did have a plan of sorts, which was to let the garden follow its own course and,
Following their own rules? Lightly organised chaos?
thus, provide a dense and closely woven safe haven for the monarch caterpillars, and a well-stocked larder for the bees and their larger selves, the humblebees.
A haven for a caterpillar?
My plan was a success
buzz vis-a-vis buzz the bees, but a failure as far as the monarchs were concerned. Not one of the many caterpillars made it to butterfly status. That was a disappointment, after my successful monarch season last year, where I helped raise at least twenty monarch butterflies. I don’t know what went wrong this time; perhaps we had too much rain; too little sun? Or, as Russel Ray pointed out to me, my wilderness garden may have provided a haven for the social wasp, arch-enemy of the monarch.
So, with winter approaching and no longer any chance of monarchs, I embarked on a clean up of the little plot. It now looks like this. Clean and tidy….and dull. Not a “Mess” but also not “Fine”. Not yet, anyway. There’s good manure in the soil, and worms, and caterpillar plus bee frass,
All cleaned up
and tidily dull
so, in a few months, it may provide solace for my senses once again. And, later, much later, the monarchs may be tempted to return. I hope so. I know the bees will come.
Virginia, how is your clean up going? There is no danger that your garden will succumb to DULL. 🙂 It will be clean, tidy and finer than ever.