The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In Gardening - Aiming for One Group Will Benefit the Others

 The chickadee who loves sunflower seeds is also a great insectivore. 




When I get out my big book on gardening, I look over which plants are good for various beneficial creatures. Most of them overlap. The catalogs know  that, so they write about attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. They do not mention bees.

I grew some bougainvillea in Phoenix. That was a bee plant. The big, black leaf-cutter bee loved those leaves to harvest for its nest. Every so often these bees would fly slow-mo through the backyard patio - bothering no one, but ominous the first time we saw them.

My neighbor had a sycamore tree and panicked over bees in her yard. Phoenix had African killer bees, but they were not as dangerous as the people driving cars there. I pointed out that her tree was known as a bee plant and in bloom. "Your tree is a bee plant." She said, "Oh."

Not one bee has bothered me while gardening. They are essential to gardening and fun to watch. Scientists study their movements in the Queen's private gardens in England. The bees' food dance can be charted to discover where they are going for their favorite food.

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds like similar plants. Butterflies are choosy. Parsley attracts the Swallowtail, and the milkweed cousins (milkweed, butterfly weed) attract Monarchs. The Viceroy mimics the bitter-tasting Monarch that birds avoid (due to its diet of milkweed). But how did the Viceroy figure that out, to look like the Monarch and outfox the birds?

Evolutionists marvel at these visual deceptions without considering the implications. A butterfly cannot think--and even if it could--that would not change its DNA.

The Monarch decorates his chamber with bright gold highlights.


The Viceroy looks so much like the Monarch that Phoenix residents were confused. I said, "No Monarchs live here. Those are Viceroys." They were offended - the truth hurts the thin-skinned.

If I aim at one group, I get the other favored creatures. The bee-butterfly-hummingbird area will have Butterfly Bushes, sunflowers, flowering vines, bee balm, bee bread, and butterfly weed. Some other weeds or herbs will also help.

When people add manure to gardening and water their plants, they are helping the butterflies and birds. The butterflies like to puddle in the manure, and the birds use mud and manure for nesting.

Manure and dead plant material build up bacteria in the soil, the foundation of life among all the higher life forms. If I aim for bacteria  as food for plants - that will jump start all the bacteria feeders, including the earthworms.

If I aim for fungi, with newspapers and wood mulch,that will establish the channels of decomposition - the fungi building tunnels between plant roots and their sources of nutrition.

The best part of Creation Gardening is not needing to manage what is already well managed by the Creator. Pests attract pest-eaters like the ladybug, just as parsley attracts the Swallowtail. Tilting toward the birds--using suet, seed, and water pans--will stack the deck against insects and their grubby babies.