Garden Visitors

 Grasshopper on Double Delight blooming rose at Bluebird Gardens.

Grasshopper on Double Delight blooming rose at Bluebird Gardens.

Garden Visitors

I'm either getting a little particular or a little spoiled, maybe both. When I see a flower in bloom, I am a tad disappointed if it doesn't have a visitor of some sort.

Over the years, my chemical-free wildlife garden has been teeming with bugs, from those who make their home next to mine to the honeybees I invited to join us about 7 years ago. 

The bees spurred my interest in seeing who and what was visiting flowers, in part to see what variety interests them and when. My gardening buddy Tom and I compare notes on what flowers our honeybees are on, although to this day he seems quite put out that his bees don't like to visit his goldenrod while mine do. Missouri has 22 different species of goldenrod blooming from June through September so it may be we have different species blooming but it's fun to get Tom riled up. Well, as riled as Tom will every get, I suspect.

My first garden visitor to capture my interest was a ladybug - a real one, not the Eastern Japanese beetles - that rode into my house on my left garden boot. I gently picked her up and took her back outside, wondering if she had found a supply of aphids to keep her well-fed.

It was a nice memory when earlier this summer I was working with my brother in his Virginia garden. We had just wrapped it up for the day when he came into the kitchen where I was talking to his wife, a towel wrapped around his waist, and he handed me a ladybug that had accompanied him inside. As the big sister, there was a tinge of pride that I had corrupted him early.

Having a camera in hand has encouraged my quest for the garden visitor. When I walk through my garden with my camera, my eye is drawn to the movement of garden visitors, as if they are paying my flowers their respects. Some flowers entertain a lot of insects all at once, others like this Double Delight hybrid tea rose welcome one visitor at a time.

Regardless, it's fun to quietly watch interaction between the flowers and bugs. There is no doubt watching the garden visitors that we are all connected!

Charlotte