I was all "tough gardener" until...

I was all "tough gardener" this morning heading out to my garden to do some weeding and deadheading.

I wasn't going to show any mercy as I began to pull out and cut back in Plopper's Field, my slightly overgrown, slightly not tended, perennial border where I plop in plants wherever there is a blank spot.

It was easy to yank out the thistle and the beggars tick. No one likes them in the flower garden.

I had no problem pulling out the hollow tubes left long after the daylilies last bloomed.  They were ugly sticking up in the air like that.

Ditto the perennial sweet peas which would make that flower border all about them if I let them stay.

Yank, yank, yank.

And that bit of dill and the mouse melon vine that grew up where I'd tossed some compost in to fill a shallow spot last spring? Yes, I got rid of them, too.

Then, bam, just like that, as I reached in past some asters to pull out some fleabane, I saw all the bees.

The bees love the fleabane.

And the asters, too.

Though, for the record, I had no intention of pulling out any asters, even those that came up in the shadow of the Amsonia.

But I was all "tough gardener" reaching for the fleabane.

Then I stopped and looked and started to count the bees.

The bees love the fleabane.

I decided right then and there to leave the fleabane alone, even though I never planted it and some people, even gardeners, might consider it a weed.

The bees love the fleabane.

I'll cut it back later, once the bees are gone.

I guess I'm not such a tough gardener after all.


  1. Bees have a way of softening the toughest gardener.

  2. I relate! Bees and birds do have a way of softening us. I cut back my perennials in stages so that the reality of fall doesn’t set in all at once, and the birds and bees get their seeds an pollen...so it’s a win, win!

  3. That was me this weekend. I was ripping out the vegetable garden so I could cover the beds for the winter, but I left the big billows of Nasturtium one more day for the bumbles. Then that night we had a freeze so it was over and done. But at least I had no guilty conscience.

  4. Does this make you a Yankee Doodle? Dandy. Good for you for leaving the fleabane for the bees. (Do your garden fairies like it too?)

  5. I know exactly what you mean. I really need to pull some ragged looking annuals and cut some perennials back to get a jump on clean up, but the bees and the painted ladies... so I'm not.

  6. You know we can all relate to this!

  7. There are plants for us, and there are the plants we share with bees, butterflies, towhees, goldfinches, and hummingbirds.

    There's room. :)


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