September brings an amazing liveliness throughout the gardens. Butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and songbirds are in constant motion. This busy activity is mesmerizing as the gardens come to life with an energetic performance. All this merry mix of wildlife coexists not only with the flowers but also with one another. Of course, there are the daily territorial acrobatics with the hummingbirds, and I’ve seen many monarchs chasing each other in the gardens this year. Bees do bump into each other but seem to take it in stride and get right back to business. For the most part, all have a feeding frenzy focused on taking advantage of the exuberant flowers. They know they’re in the home stretch of the season as the nights get cooler and the days shorter.
A walk through the gardens shows how important a healthy habitat is to our wildlife. The association of flowers, berries and seeds providing food and shelter for wildlife is critical at this time of year. Creating a biodiversity in an ecosystem and incorporating many native plants can enhance wildlife’s survival. Hummingbirds are tanking up on our tender perennial salvias in each garden in preparation for their migration. The nectar that bees and butterflies are sipping helps sustain their numbers and their lives.
This symbiotic interaction between the flower gardens and the wildlife is not only critical for their survival but fascinating to watch. The flower gardens have a delightful vitality this time of year — come visit and see all the activity!
Click here to see a video of Painted Lady butterfly on a dahlia bloom