There are many reasons you find this witch always disheveled and slightly grubby.Most of the year you’ll find me somewhere with my hands in the dirt.For most of the season my gardens are being harvested for all matter of spell adjuncts and magical material .Bee Balm for calmative teas.Fennel for digestion and spells of protection….everything I grow has several purposes.The denizens that dwell in my realm can be quite needy so for them my garden is their home.Sometimes it is foggy damp and drizzly .This means they need to find friendly shelter.This bee decided the fragrant leaves of its namesake Bee Balm was a camp just his style
As you can see Monarda is a wonderful source of food this time of the year for insects of all kinds .This year Virginia has had an over abundance of rain and the Bee Balm at my house is 6 ft+ and thriving .I use no chemicals and feed my garden composted manure .” Cow/Horse mostly because here it’s plentiful and cheap.”Monarda prefers some shade in the heat of the day and damp well drained soil .But being a member of the Mint family it’s tough and will survive neglect or the wrong sun.Another wonderful addition to the menu is Fennel. Fennel is another easily grown plant.Fennel needs three things to thrive, full sun ,good dirt and room to grow.Mine is now 4 years old and reaches almost 7ft.tall by the end of each season.I know this is a bit large for lots of you to want but consider this.The blooms and foliage of this wonderful aromatic herb serve both as food and birthing center for Black Swallow Tail Butterflies.This week alone Ive had nearly a two dozen emerge.My garden is alive with these beauties and more are coming everyday.While we are on the subject . Ive been chasing this handsome thing all over my garden for two days trying to get good pictures.He was hungry and shy but eventually I won.He is a Red Admiral Or Vanessa Atalanta .
The red admiral can be found from coastal lowlands , mountainous areas to woodlands and urban centers. These beauties are abundant in gardens and orchards where rich sources of nectar are present,The Admiral is a low-flying butterfly most commonly encountered basking, or feeding on nectar-rich plants such as ivy (Hedera helix), bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) and, in gardens, ornamental buddleias (Buddleia davidii) and
stonecrops (Sedum spp.). Individuals favor tree trunks as resting and overwintering sites, where their underwings make them difficult to detect.
This is one of the reasons that I garden ,this morning the flowers were full of butterflies bees and all manner of hungry creatures .All came to sit at my table for a while and left healthier and happier for it.