Few things require calling upon faith over and over as much as gardening. No matter how many plants have been planted and seeds have been sowed, in the end you just have to trust the plant will take root and the seeds will sprout.
And what about planting a plant that is in a dormant state? I planted three Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepius fascicularis), a couple of weeks back. Basically sticks with one or two scrawny leaves sticking out of a pot of dirt. It is Fall. Milkweed starts growing in the Spring and dies back as Summer wraps up, sleeping until the lengthen days wake it up again.
So, did I plant a stick or a growing source of butterfly nourishment? Only time will tell!
If planting milkweed, be sure to pick a species native to your area. The toxic protection monarch butterflies received from eating milkweed is specific to their population. The monarch population found in California will not gain that protection eating milkweed the normally grows in the Midwest.
Photos by Alan Starbuck