As the hot and hotter days of summer slid into fall, I pondered the beautiful array of life that I have witnessed in the garden from June to September. In the heat of the summer, when meandering around to see what was happening, I came upon the Passion Fruit vine that hosts the Fritillary butterfly. The caterpillars were quite abundant this year. As I leaned forward to take a closer look, I could actually see them eating the leaves on the plant. It appeared that they were forming a staircase as they climbed here and there all over the plant. The size that they grew to this year was larger than I’ve ever seen.
It’s quite amazing to me to see how big the caterpillars grew and yet, the fruit on the trees was smaller than ever this year. Even the grapes, pears, plums and peaches which grew abundantly, didn’t grow to their usual size. There was still enough to harvest and enjoy both fresh and dried.
The pond continues to create its own marvelous world. Dragonflies in the summer months, today a few hummingbirds and throughout the year, the koi are swimming around happily enjoying their private abode.
Other benefits of the water feature in the garden was the provision for the bees. They have been very active this year, collecting pollen from the flowering peppermint that volunteered on the island in the pond and sipping from the stream.
Though many of the bright colors of summer have faded, each fall we can rely on the Jerusalem Artichoke to bring a final splash of yellow to the garden! Set against the gorgeous blue of the clear skies, my heart is lifted with the sight each year. It’s always a treat to meander in the garden and see what fascinating displays nature has to offer!