The Garden is a Wonderful Place


All through the seasons – it does not matter which season either. So many insect varieties are worth having around…even the sleeping ones in winter.

Yet when we think of insects we want in the garden, butterflies are usually at the top of the list. In reality, butterflies make up one of the smallest percentages of all insects visiting our gardens on any given day.

Epargyreus_clarus_Silver Spotted_Skipper

Epargyreus clarus, Silver Spotted Skipper in my garden on the Salvia.

The butterflies love to forage on field plants, not to mention the caterpillars need many of the meadow plants on which to feed. So it makes sense that unless you have what they find in the fields in your garden, the majority of them will be dining elsewhere.


In home gardens, we still get an interesting assortment of insects through summer, many become residents of our created habitats.


The garden attracts a wide variety of mysterious flappers, fliers, hoppers and crawlers that pollinate our blooms, gather up nectar or eat bugs we wish did not visit. Insects heighten the garden experience with their lively colors, curious sounds and baffling behaviors.


I guess if we look beyond the bees and butterflies as interesting insects to photograph, there is almost a million others that inhabit this earth. The butterflies are always a favorite, but for some reason, they look prettier on the field flowers. I think because the field flowers don’t compete with their own vibrancy of color.


Even the duller, more ordinary insects take on a new beauty when they are seen close.


A limited number of critters visit any one ecosystem or habitat, yet the variety in either is still overwhelming. Some are large and others teeny tiny.

12-Spotted_Skimmer_(Libellula pulchella)

Some are territorial, some are solitary. Others hang out in groups. Often the plants in the garden are what brings them, but some follow those that forage the plants. Dinner awaits in the food chain.


Even the beneficial insects eat other beneficial insects like above. Looks like a hover fly became dinner. This is a tiny spider too.

Beneficial insects come by what we plant or by field plants we let go to flower.

pl-10Some look like they are on a mission, and I do believe they are!


Others look like they decorate the plants they forage.


This aster flower in this post is only one inch in diameter, so the Sphaerophoria above (if that what it is) is very small.

BeeFeedingThe photographs of the Painted Lady, Monarch, and dragonfly were shot with a 300mm zoom as were the field flowers. All the rest were in my garden and shot with the 105mm.

SkipperStoke’s Aster and Skipper. Skippers are all over the garden now, but the Stoke’s Asters have gone dormant. Plants that span the seasons keep the insects coming.


Many flowers in my garden attract insects and the sleeping Stoke’s Aster above might have had a resting bug inside.


The tiny ants work the Trumpet Vine hoping to get them open for sweet nectar. It was a good year for the Trumpet Vine, lots of hummingbird activity.


Again, this set of photos was shot handheld with the Micro 105mm lens. I used flash on some of these shots to balance out the bright ambient light and throw more light onto the tiny insects. But this lens is not one for easily capturing butterflies or other highly skittish critters. This lens is wonderful for subjects that remain in your frame, rather than chasing it around.




“Out of the 800,000 – 1,000,000 species of insects that have been described so far, not more than 1,000 (about 1/10 of 1%) can be regarded as serious pests, and less than 10,000 (about 1%) are even occasional or sporadic pests.”– Source: NCSU Extension


A revised Repost – Getting ready for some time off, but posts still load, both new and some previous favorites. For the reason…see Why I Am Taking Off From Blogging.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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