Robb and I have now released twelve butterflies into the world. We have a tankful of chrysalises, and no more caterpillars. The fennel crop was a huge success in terms of butterfly-rearing, but a total failure for human consumption. I don't know what's wrong with my garden. So much of what I try to grow turns out woody and stunted. I can grow beans and kale and fruit trees with no problems, but I don't have luck with a many, many other plants. I can't even tell you how many California wildflowers I've killed over the years.
Honestly though, if I never ate a single bite of homegrown fennel, that would be just fine with me. Growing the fennel as a host-plant for butterflies, and having a small part of their growth is a magical experience, one that I wouldn't trade for anything.
If you want to read what the genuinely competent gardeners of the blogging world are up to, click here for the Daphne's weekly round-up.
For the record, I planted a dozen more roc d'or yellow bean plants, some white strawberries, and a self-fertile zucchini this weekend. I really need to get the final scraping done on the garage, so that I can plant the flower bed in front of it.