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As is usually the case, mid-late summer here is not a terribly busy one in the garden. The daily chore is really just watering the containers. A bit of harvest comes in here and there, and weeding is always weeding, but things are slow.

Aside from that, at last I noticed a few Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) browsing through the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) patch a few days ago. Yesterday I searched and found four eggs, so now I’m all set to raise some Monarchs. I’ve raised a lot of Eastern Black Swallowtails (Papilio polyxenes) this year, but for some reason I feel bad if I don’t raise some Monarchs too…I dunno, it feels as if I’m doing my bit to save a species under threat.

I also harvested the onions (Allium cepa) yesterday…they didn’t do as well as I would like, but then again they never do. My soil is just too poor to consistently get good results with root crops, and I never have enough compost to go around. What are doing well are the ‘Albion’ strawberries I got in spring; being a day-neutral variety, it’s okay to crop them (if planted in spring) after July. A regular shot of comfrey liquid doesn’t hurt.

I am also incredibly surprised at the ‘Stella’ fig (Ficus carica) I got in April. It was barely six inches tall when I bought it; it’s now a good four feet tall and unless my eyes deceive me it’s set to bear fruit already. I doubt we have enough warm days left to the season for that fruit to develop and ripen, and I’ll have to let the tree go dormant for winter, so discarding the fruit is going to be heartbreaking. But who knows – I’ve never grown figs before, so I might be surprised again.