Walking around the garden this morning, checking out what's in bloom, and what is still to come, I started thinking about whether or not the Thistles should really be where they are planted. I'm fascinated by their growth patterns, whirling and swirling leaves as they grow taller and taller, and I'm anticipating their pink flowers, but at this point, they're not terribly attractive plants from a distance. Of course their multitude of REALLY prickly thorns makes me hesitant to move them right now, lol. I had to go back into my digital archives to remind myself why I grow them at all, and I found this photo from 2008. That's a HUGE Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, and I instantly remembered the week two years ago that this visitor hung out in my yard. S/he was interested in ONLY the Thistles, and that week I spent at least an hour a day watching this beautiful creature fly to each and every flower on each and every Thistle plant and drink in the nectar. It was exhilarating in a way, to welcome a beautiful creature like this into my yard—and I remembered THAT is the reason I grow Thistles.
Perusing the 2008 garden archive, I found this closeup of one of my Tiger lilies. With their "Curly-Q" spotted petals and distinctive stamens with large anthers and filaments, Tiger lilies are one of the more exotic New England perennials—in my humble opinions of course! I can't wait for this year's crop to bloom, although I enjoy watching them grow and mature on a daily basis. They are going to look even better when silhouetted against the newly-painted salmon clapboards.