My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

Caterpillar Chrysalises in My Garden

5 Comments

Each morning when I feed scraps to the hens before letting them out into the paddock for the day, I hang around to deter the wild ducks from flying in for a free feed. I use this time to check out what is happening my vegetable garden. The To Do list gets longer.

Bumblebees are busy workers. Busier than me in this humidity. The garden looks neglected, shabby and straggly. The Hyssop stems were flattened in the recent stormy weather. Oregano and weeds jostle for dominance under the Scarlet Runner beans. Higher than usual summer temperatures and storm damage wreaked havoc a few days ago. My sister swears she can hear the invasive kikuyu grass following behind her as she pulls weeds. She has a point. Grass growth and garden weeds are rampant in this humidity.

Earlier crops of kale , turnips, tomatoes, cucumber and green beans have self-seeded and the hope is no-effort vegetables. That is a good garden story. Strawberry runners are growing like triffids. The blackbirds make a mess as they scratch up young plants. They flee the crime scene leaving half-eaten tomatoes on the vines. These were not the birds I had in mind when I planted flaxes and native plants to feed native birds and beneficial insects. Such is life in this rural lifestyle neighbourhood. Nature rules.

On a positive note and still on the subject of nature, the Monarch butterflies have been active in the garden. They made a pretty picture in January. Butterflies flitted about and laid their eggs on the Swan plant. The growing caterpillars have since eaten every leaf and are now devouring the seed pods. Food for these colourfully striped creatures is a priority. Today, I went on a rescue mission and transferred caterpillars to seedling Swan plants. I found predatory wasps had made a nest on the plant.  That had to be destroyed manually as spray is harmful to the Monarch caterpillars.

Delicate green and gold trimmed chrysalises also hang in the clump of lemon grass growing nearby. There is a certain delight in being able to observe the natural cycle of caterpillars metamorphosing into butterflies. There is a certain satisfaction knowing beneficial insects are thriving in my garden.

 

 

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

5 thoughts on “Caterpillar Chrysalises in My Garden

  1. I agree with what your sister said about the Kikuyu grass, it is an everlasting job keeping up with it, it’s forever invading my flower gardens. Also those blackbirds they destroy everything.
    But true there are other things that give us joy like the bees and butterflies.
    Wishing you a happy weekend and hope the storm coming in next week doesn’t destroy more of the beauty in our gardens.

    • Here’s hoping Cyclone Gita loses its energy and that the energy sapping humidity drops up here in the north. Enjoy the fine weather forecast for the weekend. I hope to do some preparation in the garden for winter veggies.

  2. You are so lucky to have the Monarch Butterflies in your garden. There has been a huge decline in North America. The use of pesticides in agriculture has killed off a large percentage of the Milkweed, which is the preferred plant for Monarchs here. I have tried planting it in my garden, but have not been successful.

  3. That’s so sad. I understand there’s a decline here as well and also
    bumblebees and bees. It’s something I’m always thinking about when choosing plants etc. Glyphosate is used in New Zealand and there are voices being heard protesting its use. Our neighbours don’t spray either so possibly it’s why we have been lucky. Trouble is that councils contract out roadside weed spraying and that’S an issue.

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