Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's Called an Ecosystem


A few days ago, I lauded laziness as a cure to too-hard environmentalism and laziness is something I embrace whole-heartedly in my garden. I do get outside to squish slugs and deadhead every so often. Mostly, though, I avoid the heaving lifting by letting the mini ecosystem - one created by lack of chemical and interplanting flowers and edibles - take care of itself.

Instead of examining leaves for nibbles and rust, I prefer to perch on my porch steps and, overlook the butterfly garden. From there, I can watch the bees forage in the borage and orange and white butterflies sail across the cosmos, lavender and sage. The reward for my laziness is nowhere more evident, however, than in the scene I happened upon today: two lustful ladybugs surrounded by aphids. It turns out that nature, when left alone, really does take care of itself.

9 comments:

Kim said...

It's amazing, isn't it?

eco 'burban mom said...

As always, your gardens are wonderful! I just came in from weeding my "ecosystem". Too much rain, the weeds are taking over everything! I am thinking ecosystem is too nice of word... More like wild jungle! :o)

Chile said...

Love your Gulf Fritillary. The silvery underside of the wings is so pretty when they flap around. Do you have a passionflower planted somewhere? That's the host plant for its caterpillars and guarantees you'll see lots of these beauties. It's also fun to see the black carpenter bees walk in circles on the flat flowers and then fly off with a big dollop of pollen on their backs.

Green Bean said...

EB: Rain isn't such a bad thing - at least here where we have none. I guess it's all or nothing, though, these days. Happy weeding.

Chile: I do have a passionflower! Just planted it last spring. It's going crazy but I'm not sure if it is too late to host their caterpillars?

I had no clue what this was. I'll have to follow all the butterflies around the yard with my camera so Chile can identify them.

marguerite manteau-rao said...

Great blog, great pictures! Thanks for adding me to your 'beans' list'. I feel honored.

I guess you and I are neighbors . . .

marguerite, in Palo Alto
http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com

CindyW said...

Oh I love lady bugs, as you can probably tell from my logo :)

Yesterday I went to visit a friend who recently received a gift of a pray mantis in a jar. For food, my friend has to look for bugs (but not ants). A piece of cake, you think. But there are so few insects to be found in their garden. Apparently there was a neighborhood wide spray of Roundup recently. Afterwards, bugs disappeared.

That just bewilders and worries me, since my friend has a toddler and a baby.

It's not that I am huge fan of bugs, but their proportional appearance shows the balance in nature. Rachel Carson wrote the famous Silent Spring when DDT virtually killed all the birds. What do we call it when all the bugs are killed? I don't know but I have a very bad feeling about it.

jennconspiracy said...

Gooooo ladybugs! Great photo!

Green Bean said...

Marguerite: My pleasure. I truly enjoyed your blog when I came across it in the "AllTop" email discussion. I had to share it!

Cindy: Neighborhood wide spray? That's pretty scary. Bugs, to me, really show the balance. Gaia's Garden is a great book that lists insect attracting plants. Birds eat the insects so if the insects go . . . Not good!

Jenn: It was such an opportunity. I never get the chance to take photos like that so I just had to post it!

spelled with a K said...

I'm envious you have ladybug love in your garden, I caught more cucumber beetles in flagrante delicto yesterday morning.

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