HomeUncategorizedbutterfly weed
In the full blush of morning, in the rising heat, two hawks circle low to the South of the garden, skimming the fingers of trees. I watch them as I dip my jar into the bucket, pushing it down into the weight of water, holding it till it’s filled. The spring water is cool, radiant in the morning light, and I pour it gently onto the rows of seeds I planted yesterday, and then onto the lilies and lobelia, the nasturtiums and basil. The kree of the hawksong lilts through the air as the birds soar further South. My gaze falls upon the bulbs I planted last fall—Lucy Ball alliums.   They have already risen like trumpets from the soil, their globes of purple flowers slowly pushing themselves to fullness. They look like enormous chive flowers.  I water those, too, because it has been dry. And yesterday I removed a three foot bamboo plant from its container. It was parched and yellow, neglected and considering death. I put it in a bucket of water. This morning it is green and covered in tiny leaves.  

Later, when the afternoon throws out a quilt of clouds, I transplant lupine and columbine, peonies and milk thistle, butterfly weed and lungwort. The butterfly weed is tiny, and my deepest hope, though I did buy four of them for insurance. I have been wonderstruck by their vivid beacon of orange flowers from the moment I first saw them, years ago, blooming in the far-off edge of a field. I tell Renee that these tiny plants will grow up to feed butterflies, and this is immensely satisfying for her.   She calls herself “Butterfly Girl,”   which makes me “Butterfly Mommy” by default. She helps me tamp down the earth around the sturdier transplants, then she sprinkles compost in a ritualistic fashion over the whole circle of plants. I’m sure the plants are pleased, but I am nervous that she will crush my tiny hopes with her happy feet. So we get skewers and make tiny cages around the baby butterfly weed, as protection against paws and pink-socked toes. Then Renee sings to our plants some more, as we dip again the jar into the bucket of cool water, just in case it doesn’t rain. We water our tiny hopes with song, and bless the earth with holy compost. 

Here’s a pic of the wild butterfly weed, also known as pleurisy root.


butterfly weed — 4 Comments

  1. I’ve got alliums and irises blooming like crazy here. We’ve got a butterfly bush . . . wonder if it’s the same as what you’ve got?

    Please take some pictures of your garden and post them. Please???

  2. Oh yes yes I need to take pictures. And my haircut!! My Mississippi Mom and Sister are hounding me for pictures! Well. I’ll try to remember!

  3. I pulled a pic off the web and added it to this entry, if you want to take a peak. It’s not the same as the butterfly bush, I’ve got those too (and a daylily farm).

  4. WOW what a colorful and exuberent plant!

    Thanks for the picture. Now, I’ll wait patiently for pictures of other garden lovelies as well as you and your new coif.

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