Pollinators Ahoy!

I stepped outside to look at the garden, as I do every few hours–whether waiting for something new to surprise me, or half suspecting that it will vanish when my back is turned, I’m not sure!–and I startled a hummingbird hanging in the air over the lilies.

He looked at me, a bit belligerently–this was his garden, his yard, his flowers, he’d found them, how dare I come hangin’ around? Wanna mess with me, primate, wanna, wanna? I’ll peck yer eyes out! Hummingbirds are belligerence wrapped up in a oil-slick rainbow. You have to love them.

When I did not reply appropriately by taking to the air and fighting for control of the garden, he decided I was just too unspeakably boring for words and zipped off to dip his beak in the pink cherry sage. (I love this stuff. I hadn’t seen it before–it’s a native of Texas, so I’m sort of cheating on the whole native thing, but at least it’s the correct continent. It’s gorgeous, hummingbirds love it, and it takes full sun and drought like a trooper.)

After the hummingbird had decided to go lay claim to another yard, I peered over my plants. Exciting discoveries lately have been up at the top of the yard, by the mailbox–it’s choked with oak seedlings and badly overgrown, but lurking under it all is pineapple sage, a great favorite of mine. And there’s a daylily exploding with buds that’s apparently too far up the driveway for the deer to browse that I’m eagerly awaiting.

I’ve also determined that the thing I thought was a black locust is actually a silktree. Well, crud. It’s an invasive non-native. Should really kill it. The pictures of the flowers are lovely. Hummingbirds like it. But…it’s an invasive non-native and should die. Argh! Who knew gardening came with so many moral dilemas!? I thought “Natives and well-behaved immigrants,” would be an easy philosophy to hold to. (Hmm, the forest service has a real hate on this tree. Maybe it better come out.)

On the other hand, I saw them selling bishopweed at the garden shop and wanted to find somebody on staff and give ’em a tongue lashing. Bishopweed! Dear god! What are you people thiiiiinking?!

But happily, as I stood looking at the rest of the garden, I see the pollinators come out at work. A fat bumblebee climbs over the brazilian verbena (non-native, I know, I know, I’m guilty, but the butterflies are supposed to love it! I’ll deadhead religiously, I promise.) and a sleeker, more dangerous looking bee crawls into each individual cup of the beardstongue (Native! Native!)

Despite the gardening guilt, barely assuaged by buying some Joe Pye Weed and native snakeroot when I went to pick up the manure, it’s nice to see the pollinators out in my garden.

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