Sunday, August 21, 2011

You Get What You Ask For

My garden is an amazing place to be. It is, quite literally, teeming with life. There are things crawling and buzzing and cooing and tweeting (without the aid of anything eletronic, even!) all over the place. It always amazes me to see the plethora of wriggling, crawling, and flying things - like the earthworms my girls found yesterday when they were moving bark mulch.

We had some friends over yesterday to help us with a project, and while they were here, we were showing them a plant that had volunteered in our yard this year. Actually, it's been around for a few years, but this year, it has really established itself. After doing a bit of research, we've discovered that, as a forb, it would be a good plant for our rabbits, which takes us one step closer to being truly self-sufficient - in that we'd be growing, without any effort on our part, a plant that can feed the bunnies.

While our friends were here, we did a quick tour of the backyard and showed them our new plant discovery ...

... and made another exciting discovery. We saw an incredible little creature flying around the plants. It looked like a cross between a bee, a moth and a hummingbird. I, incorrectly, called it a bumblebee hummingbird. It's actually a hummingbird moth, and it's a pollinator.

My friend quipped that the universe is very generous and that what we need, we invariably find, if we pay attention.

We paid attention to the plant, galeopsis tetrahit, the virtues of which (according to our "weed" book) have not, yet been discovered, but after a very cursory search we found a couple of very important uses for it ... including attracting pollinators. Apparently, the authors of that book have not defined the term "weed" very well, as their definition is not really accurate.

My friend was so correct in her observation. The universe is generous, and what we ask for, we usually receive ;). We asked for, and continue to request, a self-sufficient life, and more and more, we're getting it.


  1. Hummingbird moths are the weirdest thing ever, aren't they? I got a pretty good pic of one in my butterfly bushes a couple years ago.

  2. I've been looking at weeds differently since reading Richard Mabey's book 'Weeds'.

    I'm not sure how well known he is in the US, but he wrote 'Food for Free', probably the UK's best known foraging guide. The book is UK-centric, but does mention weed issues affecting both the US and Australia. I think you'd find it interesting.