The Arrival

"If you plant it, will they come?" was echoing in my mind several years ago as I watched an energetic crew hack out a wall of boxwood. I was standing in the front yard of my new, downsized home. I had left behind my garden of 35 years where hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees -- even praying mantis -- had floated, buzzed and patrolled.

My new front garden was sunny and held great promise; but first the crew had to rescue it from a huge, overgrown, silent boxwood. No visitors anywhere. After the truck drove away with the boxwood's remains, I got busy. I planted butterfly weed and salvia, indigo and black-eyed susans, coneflowers and two small butterfly bushes -- one on either side of the path to my front porch.

The wait began. Who would come? The plants settled in that first summer and the next year began blooming. The bees arrived. A swallowtail butterfly floated by and stayed for a while. Then a monarch appeared. A hummingbird zoomed around the salvia. Each summer the garden became busier until this past summer my walk to the front door crossed a butterfly super highway. The entire front garden was alive with all kinds of butterflies. Then, one morning I discovered a praying mantis on patrol.

They had all come.