The colors of gardening

By Gabrielle LeBlanc

tumblr_n9ugc6gwvH1twfy5io1_500August was ushered in with more than our fair share of pleasant weather, and the plants have been loving it! The melons seem to be multiplying before my eyes, and even the succulents and sebum seem to be celebrating as they bloom to feed all of our beautiful pollinators.

As the fruits of summer are piling up, the garden attracts more and more children to come see the wild trellis overflowing with purple cascades of yard-long beans and tomatoes of all colors, shapes and sizes. Butterflies flutter in and out of the blossoms of the cup plant, which is now at least 9 feet tall.

tumblr_n9ugc6gwvH1twfy5io4_500The dye garden is underway and all of the plants are finally in the ground! This bed was originally a bunch of grass, until a few gracious volunteers dug it up and mulched it with leaf compost. Now, the bed is established and there are marigolds, indigo, amaranth, and yarrow growing. All of these plants have been cultivated for use as natural dyes. If you are visiting the garden and would like to take a look, it is on the outside of the garden’s fence, on the side closest to the Wizard’s House.

tumblr_n9ugc6gwvH1twfy5io2_500The garden’s first resident tomato horn worm was spotted hanging from the end of a tomatillo branch. The destructive beauty of these creatures is impossible to deny, as is the perfect balance of parasitoid wasps hatching eggs on the side of its head (can you spot the little white dots, nearly hidden by the leaf?). They were almost too small to photograph, but the wasps were present and I thanked them for their fine work. If you would like more information on this fascinating display of insect parasitism, read this.

Wishing everyone a happy week!

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