The Butterfly Bush

Friday, August 31, 2007
My favorite plant in the garden right now is the butterfly bush. As an Easter gift this year, my Aunt M gave me a cutting from the plant in her Pennsylvania backyard. I was so excited to receive what appeared to be just a stick in a pot of mud, a few of its tiny leaves clinging on for dear life. I have long admired butterfly bushes at the community garden and secretly wanted one of my own. I just didn't think I'd have room for one.

Infant butterfly bush, April 24, 2007

I made room for this one. This was not just any butterfly bush, after all, this was Aunt M's Butterfly Bush. I will always find a place in my garden for pass-along plants like this.

All summer long I witnessed the gradual resuscitation of that stick with the little leaves. I wasn't sure if it would bloom in its first year in a new place, but now in August, my Easter gift is alive with sweetly-scented purple plumes. I stand beside the cascading flowers and smile at the tangle of butterflies dancing about blissfully. Aunt M's gift was more than a plant from her garden; she gave me these delightful winged visitors, too.

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."
- Rabindranath Tagore


Blogger Carol Michel said...

Beautiful flowers, and how wonderful to have a passalong plant like that. I agree, you should always make room in your garden for passalong plants, especially those from family.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh wow! I'm so excited that the bush bloomed for you in its first year and it brought such lovely visitors. Congratulations on catching the shot of the swallowtail--that's some stealthy photography on your part!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Aiyana said...

Nice flowers, and such a lovely sentiment re the butterfly.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Green thumb said...

Thank God, for life is not mathematics, and gives us unexpected returns, like your butterfly bush blossoming with you least expecting it; It is beautiful!
I eulogise with the philosophy of Rabinandra nath tagore. How true-a butterfly's life time is ephemeral yet so full of 'life'.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I am filled with longing. Another name for Butterfly bush is Buddleia and, while it has been one of my favourite flowers, we are now strongly advised in Australia not to plant it because it is considered a weed and harmful to the bush.I will just have to look at your blog to remind me of it.

Coincidentally my first butterfly of Spring arrived the other day and really enjoyed my rosemary. (

7:59 AM  
Blogger Matron said...

K know I've said "I don't do flowers", however I highly recommend your choice of buddleia. It really does attract butterflies and bees like nothing else! Remember to prune it hard back to the ground each Winter then you will be sure to get flowers every year!

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enjoyable blog! Great shots of the butterflies and those vegies look great!

4:54 PM  
Blogger Tira said...

Very lovely, and a great reminder of your aunt. i got some vitex cuttings this week and am excited at the prospect of them growing into huge flowering shrubs

9:29 PM  
Blogger Rowena said...

Living gifts from relatives and friends are always my favorite things to receive. It comes from the heart and does the earth good. Plus it's always nice to go around the yard and take pleasure in the things that were given by that special person. :-)

10:04 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Your butterfly bush is lovely - and how special to know it comes from someone dear to you. The shots of the flowers with the butterflies are beautiful.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a pretty color. My butterfly bush is dark purple. Maybe I can find like that to go with it.

Only a true gardener would be excited about a stick in a pot of mud!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Beautiful, and beautful photo's
we had a lte freeze this past spring, and It damaged my Butterfly bush, I held out this spring, because I want one of the newer ones, theres a blue one that is really pretty, and closer to blue than purple, can't remember the name of it, but I have really missed it this summer!

And there is always room for one more plant~especially a pass a long from a loved one, or dear friend.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same experience with my butterfly bush this year! As a little guy, it was ravaged by whiteflies and I cut it all back. But then little shoots appeared and now it has these gorgeous, smuckers-grape-jelly colored plumes. Fantastic shot of the butterfly . . . wow, gives a whole new depth to "butterfly" bush!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in upper Northwest (just off 16th) and had never seen a butterfly bush until we moved into this house and found one in our back yard. It's kind of a miracle - a bush that somehow invites them to come by. There's something balletic about the way the butterflies land.

BTW the photos on your blog are gorgeous.

6:15 PM  

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