In June, Nagisa, the daughter of our dear friend Rika, spent a week with us after completing a year of study abroad in Vancouver. Nagisa lives in a small village on the west coast of Japan, so we hadn't seen her for many years, and we were excited to host her at the log house.
So that we'd always have a little piece of her with us, we decided to plant something perennial in the garden. Nagisa and I visited Woodbridge Garden Center, just a few miles down the road, and selected this butterfly bush. When we bought it, the scrawny plant stood just a foot tall, but it will grow to be six feet tall and just as wide around.
Already it's grown to almost three feet tall. We'll cut it back this winter and give it some shaping, and it should grow every which way next summer.
In the meantime, though, it's having a second bloom now, at the end of the season, when everything else in the garden has gone past.
I haven't seen butterflies in the past few weeks (perhaps they've all flown to Florida for the winter), so the bees have the nectar all to themselves.