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The plot map below describes the varieties and precise locations of the many different types of plants found at the Butterfly Garden. It is followed by an article that describes the unique characteristics and the proper care of the garden. Many thanks to Paula Fuhrmann for both the highly detailed map and the pensive and informative commentary.   

Click on the image to the right to see a detailed image of the garden with all of the plants labeled. plot.jpg (95407 bytes)

The garden life cycle

Like any landscape with diverse components, the appearance of the
butterfly garden changes as the growing season progresses.  Many
flowers, like forget-me-not, columbine, and primrose, are early
bloomers, which then fade and go to seed, sometimes disappearing
completely.  A few of these, like primrose, sometimes return in the cool
of autumn, a colorful surprise through the fallen leaves.

The buddleias are the davidii variety, blooming on new wood, so a garden
visitor would find cut-back collections of twigs in early spring,
graceful bushes a few weeks later, then the tall swaying focal points
which vibrate with butterflies and bees by the end of July.  The
perennials follow their own schedules as volunteers cut back and clean
up in early spring to clear the way for new growth and bloom.  As the
weeks go by, some are deadheaded, some cut back to prevent seed
production and promote further flowering.

The annuals provide constant summer color and the different varieties
throughout the butterfly garden reflect the tastes and current favorites
of the gardeners working the different sections.

Accent plants are used to provide consistency and contrast with their
companions.  These include lamb's ear, sedum, and the artemisias, all of
which are beautiful on their own.  However, they serve the added
function of making whatever is planted nearby even more outstanding and
vibrant.  The repetition of certain plants ties the various sections
together and harmonizes the transitions.

The forces of nature constantly alter the garden.  The forest population
of deer, groundhogs, rabbits, and mice can't resist what must seem to
them a catered feast.  Insects of all sorts attack both plants and
gardeners, but no pesticides or repellents are used.  These would render
host plants and feeding plants toxic to the butterflies and other
beneficial insects.  Of course, dealing with unpredictable weather is
always a challenge affecting growth and bloom, and a real test of the
volunteers' commitment.

The butterfly garden is like any beloved, well tended garden.  It
changes through the season and changes through the years, with
experience, a good dose of trial and error, and plenty of hard, but
satisfying labor.

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