April Butterfly Garden Update

Spring is finally here at last! It’s time to be thinking about what’s happening with our Neighborhood Butterfly/Pollinator Garden. I’ve been poking around and have found some early season plants coming up! Prairie Smoke, Golden Alexanders, and Wild Strawberry are all showing new green leaves. One Golden Alexanders is already showing a small bloom! Some grasses and other wildflowers are also showing, but are pretty hard to identify.

In the previous web post we were asking for donations to the Plant Dane program, which would provide free plants for our garden. We received enough donations to provide 96 plants, out of the cap of 100. A huge Thank You to all who donated. I was able to choose a wide variety of plants, which will add new species and increase quantities. These plants will be picked up on May 19. I have also ordered a Ninebark shrub from the Arboretum Native Plant Sale, which will be picked up in early May.

So we will be looking for volunteers to join our Gardening Team. Hopefully many of you who did such hard work last year will come back. I also extend an invitation to parents with kids to bring them along. Some of our sessions will be on Monday afternoons again, but also possible on some Fridays and Saturdays. It’s likely that late May or June is the soonest we will set up some planting sessions. We don’t want to add plants too soon because we won’t know for a while where the true “bare spots” are. Some seeds and plants won’t grow until the soil and air temperatures are fairly warm.

If you are new to this effort, don’t worry about having enough experience or knowing one prairie plant from another! This is a “learn as you go” project. And we can call again on the Arboretum staff for their excellent advice. If you would like to help with planting, or other tasks, please contact me, Carol Buelow, via the email atlarge@cmnna.org. I will add you to the gardening email list. Thanks!