In terms of the garden, this year has been one of experimentation. I'm slowly learning what grows where. That the soil on the east side of the garden is friable and fertile while the soil on the west side is so clay-y that you could mold it into a cricket ball.
Down near the pergola is a buddleia bush. When we first moved in, it was probably 15 feet high. Friends Les and Chris, who used to run a garden centre in England, advised us to cut it to knee-high. So I did, thinking..."hmmm, this'll never work." But buddleia grows fast. It's now about 15 feet high and laden with dark purple spiky blossoms--and butterflies. I love to sit in the pergola and watch them alighting, sipping nectar (I'm assuming that's what they do) and taking off.