Butterfly Garden Decisions

The native plant sale is Friday evening. I have been dragging my feet for months, trying to make a decision about the layout of the butterfly garden. I have the beautiful plan from June but the more I live in the land the more I’m sure that some changes will have to be made and the more I debate the various ways to approach the problems.

The space for the garden is about 40′ deep and 20′ wide. Right now there is nothing in it but mixed weeds and one smallish tulip poplar. A big corner of it is covered with 3-month old sheet mulching, which is nicely rotted after a wet Florida summer and is ready to dig through and plant in.  I rented a monster tiller a few months ago and tilled up almost the whole area in preparation for sheet mulching the rest of it but then the rest of the materials didn’t line up, so all of the weeds grew back.

If I had $500 or so I could get all of the materials to have this ready for planting in mere days, but I don’t. I haven’t seen my free mulch from GRU yet. I don’t have a truck to take advantage of free nitrogen-rich materials in large amounts, and the small amounts I can lug home in bags are free but time-consuming and each load has to be levered into the already-crowded schedule. It’s kinda fun when it works out and a whole lot frustrating when it doesn’t. So I chip away at the mulching in chunks when I can get the labor (me and pizza-bribed teens) the materials (free manure, salvaged cardboard, rough woodchips) all lined up to be there at the same time.

The Native Plant Sale only happens twice a year. There are native plants available the rest of the year but this is the only chance for 6 months to get the rare and hard-to-find plants, and to buy multiples of the popular plants at a good price. I just don’t want to repeat the mistakes of prior years when I’ve purchased too many plants that languish in pots for months or perished because I didn’t have the time or resources to put them in the ground properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *