“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love is put in the giving.”
I love this quote from Mother Theresa. It seems to beautifully state how I feel about my garden and gardening. And it parallels how I choose to live my life. As a child I was always taught to treat others the way I want to be treated, and to do no harm….’The Golden Rule’. And this ‘Golden Rule’ has transferred through my work, to my life and into my garden. I always describe it as, Giving back to nature as we take.
And here is how I try to give back in my garden, as I take flowers, fruit, pictures, inspiration and the joy flower and fauna bring me daily…..
I plant native plants like this Swamp Milkweed. It does great in wet areas. Native plants bloom and grow easily and are nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Not to mention a host plant for critters like monarch butterflies. That’s the benefit of native plants. They are food and home for so many critters, besides providing flowers, berries and foliage for the gardener in some of the most difficult growing conditions.
And I add lots of annual flowers in pots as they are also essential for my garden and critters. They provide pollen and nectar throughout the summer as perennials flower and fade. And they are especially important for my veg garden. Many flowers, like these sunflowers, will draw harmful insects away from crops, and draw beneficial insects to the crops to help with pollination. And then later as they turn to seed, they provide food for birds. Now I call that a bonus flower!
And this, this is the benefit of all my hard work as I give back to my garden, and work to do no harm. This year we had more butterflies than we can ever remember. Swallowtails, like this one were frequent visitors along with monarchs, red admirals, fritillaries and white admirals. Not to mention daily visits from monarchs all summer and well into mid October. The biggest surprise was the Painted Ladies by the hundreds for weeks and weeks. A benefit from all the asters that bloomed this year.
Do you garden for wildlife? How do you like to give back to your garden or nature?
It seems my container flowers had a great extended bloom this season and as I harvested them, they provided lots of golden, glowing , fall color for a few vases.
These small sunflowers, I love to grow for vases, were the only ones that grew, except for one volunteer that showed up in late September. The cool weather and critters took care of any other sunflowers I tried to start.
And the few marigolds I grew from seed, that the rabbits didn’t eat, put on a beautiful display. Although because the stems and plants were shorter than usual, when I cut them at the end of the season, I floated them in a bowl.
A few Tithonia surprised me in the cutting bed and made a nice harvest vase with a few marigolds. And yes, we actually got a few pumpkins, small and large, and a handful of Delicata squash. Makes a great harvest display, don’t you think?
I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.
I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness. And you can read an new interview I did for the wonderful poetry community, Poets United. You can also read my latest poem here.
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