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A Gardner’s Butterflies

There are the butterflies we plan for in our gardens. We carefully select plants that will attract our favorite butterflies, such as Monarchs and wait with excited anticipation for their arrival. Then there are the butterflies we get in the pit of our stomach when we have been away from our gardens far too long and long can be two days.

I don’t like being away from my gardens. It is not like a quilt or a ship in a bottle that can wait patiently, unchanged for my return.  A garden is ever changing. Gardeners see the slightest changes each day. We notice new buds, the first spent flowers, new volunteers, the mulch getting tight (that’s when we have to fluff it for improved air and water circulation) and we notice new critters, the good and the bad that call our gardens home.

Six days away from my gardens and the park had me feeling butterflies in the pit of my stomach. Were the gardens fairing well? Has the warmer, drier weather given the Lantana the push they need to grow? And what about deer? And then I see them, on the way to the park, on Observatory, casually munching away in a front lawn. So cute and so destructive. It’s a love hate relationship I have with them.


I have been gardening in the evening at the park only to look up from my bed to see a deer intently watching me from a few feet away. “Let’s go lady. Night is falling. It’s time for us to eat!” I am sure that is what they would say if they could talk.


I was relieved to find all was in order. Oh, there are always a few lost flowers here and there. Sometimes the flowers are victims to the photographers that visit the park in droves each day. And sometime the deer munch a few. I can spray for deer, wish I could spray for the photographers too. I can say that you see for I take pictures almost each day at the park and somehow I manage not to pick, pluck or pull a single flower.  Some photographs have their clients stand in the gardens, climb the magnolias, even pull the flowers and pluck off the petals one-by-one, all for a good shot.  Sigh…

I know most photographers who come to the park are quite respectful. In fact, most people who come here are responsible and kind to the park. We have our fair share of theft of plants, plant tags and accessories, we lose a few flowers and garbage is sometimes tossed about, but all-in-all the park is treated with respect and for that I am grateful. 

I have enough butterflies in my stomach worrying about the deer.



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