On Making Things—and Making Them Grow

True confessions time: I am a wanna-be gardener. 

Wanna-be, because while I technically try to put in a garden every year, I’ve only had success exactly once, when my tomatoes wouldn’t stop producing fruit, and I made batch after batch of marinara sauce until I had to start giving it away. The remaining three years, they alternately died from a blight, were eaten by bugs, or simply didn’t produce any fruit at all.

The one thing I seem to grow without issue is sweet basil. I love nothing more than to whip up a fresh batch of pesto before your eyes and send it home with you while it's still warm in its Tupperware, ready for dinner. Thankfully, the basil complies.

As for the rest… honestly, I suck at it. Should the zombie apocalypse come to pass, I fear we will most likely starve if I’m in charge of growing our food supply.

This year, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to put in a butterfly garden.

Why butterflies? Well, I have a deep, personal relationship with the whole concept of transformation. I have a butterfly tattoo on my left shoulder, and I will stop whatever I’m doing when one crosses my path, simply to watch its ethereal beauty. I love them, love how they symbolize growth and change, and I would love to provide a home for them. 

I wasn’t aware that Nashville is on the Monarch butterfly migration path until last year, and decided there and then I needed to create a safe haven for the beauties in my backyard. I’ve been studying placement, have bought my seeds, and will be breaking ground in the next couple of weeks if it stays warm, in order to get it all built and ready for planting. I’m hoping I have better luck growing flowers than I do food. 🍅 🌿

Have you built a butterfly garden in your yard? Any and all suggestions welcome from you, fellow gardeners. Please drop a pearl of wisdom in the Comments section below!  🦋