I never planted a garden this year, because I put my time and energy into working in the Greenbelt, but I had a garden just the same. Even though they aren’t supposed to be perennial flowers, the pansies continue to come up in the spring and every year there more of them. And I have other beautiful perennials.
I didn’t take photos of the pansies this year, but I did take some of the others. I hope to take some microscopic photos of the echinacea flowers soon.
There have been more bees in my garden than there have been for years; bumblebees, mason bees, honey bees. They have particularly loved the echinacea, lavender, and marjoram plants.
I don’t seem to have a copy of the bee balm flower I took earlier in the summer but I took one this week of a frequent visitor to that plant. I wish the photos were clearer but the hummingbird moves faster than I do.
I planted a few lettuce plants in the front yard in early spring but nothing else. Nature apparently decided that wasn’t enough. Five cherry tomato plants came up in the front yard and potato plants came up in my back yard raised beds. Both were seeded by last year’s plants.
I have really appreciated the work that Ramana and I did in the back yard in the spring and early summer. It is so beautiful.
So there is beauty around me, both in my yard and in the Greenbelt, even though I didn’t plant a garden this year. As I wrote this post, I remembered Pete Seeger’s song Turn, Turn, Turn. I will end the post with a 1966 video of Pete Seeger and Judy Collins singing that song.
I grew bee balm for the first time two years ago. That year there were almost no bees in my garden and I never saw any in the bee balm. Last year, I accidentally planted something where the bee balm would come up, so it never had a chance to grow. This year I took care to see that the plant had plenty of space.
Before long, there were more blooms than there have ever been. But where were the bees? There were lots of bumblebees in the garden and some honey bees but none of them came near the bee balm.
Then one day, I saw a single honey bee collecting nectar.
That bee stayed there for quite a while. I have never seen another one.
Earlier this week, I saw glimpses of a hummingbird’s wings, on the far side of the bee balm, three different times. Yesterday was the first time this year that I was able to see one of the birds fully.
In the evening, I discovered if I looked out the front window of my living room, I could view the plant from above.
Today, I looked out the window frequently to see if I would spot a hummingbird. And I did! It visited several different times and I was able to take pictures of it. (In the following photos, the hummingbird is near the center of the picture.)
I hope more bees and hummingbirds will visit the bee balm, but even if they don’t, I believe I will continue to feel as happy and satisfied as I do now.
This past June, I was very disturbed by the lack of honey bees in my garden (We Need the Bees). While bumblebees were present throughout the summer, and at least some honey bees from mid July on, I don’t think I ever saw a bee of any kind in the bee balm, a plant known for attracting bees. While I grieve that the world’s bee population has decreased so significantly, and hope we can do what it takes to bring them back, my heart lifted when I saw this visitor in the bee balm one day. This bird, or others like it, returned almost every day. While the hummingbird is gone now, I have not forgotten it, and look forward to the possibility of its return next summer! At that time, I hope I am also blessed with the sight of seeing honey bees drinking nectar from the bee balm.
As I was sitting in my doctor’s office this morning, I thought about Bastet’s Pixelventures newest challenge. Our assignment this week is to take a spontaneous picture and then edit it using one of the photo editing apps. I realized I had an opportunity to take that photo while I waited for the doctor!