Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monarch Magnets

It was a rainy start to the day although the weather cleared prior to our Extended Plant Sale starting at 9 am (and running until 2 pm) today.  This sale will have 15% off everything through this Saturday (9 am - 2 pm daily).  I thought I'd include some recent color from our "Pollinator's Paradise" theme in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden.  This garden also features our All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden (lots of AAS winners for pollinators) which is entered in the AAS Landscape Display Competition.  We just submitted our final entry information and will be notified of our 1st place win (hopefully) in a month or so. All of these photos were taken and shared by Ken Tapp (thanks Ken!). He captured many pollinators in this garden and it was nice to see such a profusion of butterflies this year.  These photos are a tribute to the success of this garden and despite the nice showing of monarchs in this garden, they have had some significant population challenges in recent years that have been affected by habitat loss and human land use impacts.  Above is a monarch on a 'Purple Prince' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) and below I've indicated the "flowers of interest".  Our "Pollinator's Paradise" theme included over 200 different types of plants including those for the larval stage of butterflies (i.e. milkweed for monarchs, dill, fennel, parsley, etc.).  Do more research on how to successfully attract and accommodate our important pollinators and educate yourself on the plight of the monarch!  There are many informative, online resources as well.

Thanks to Joy and Mary Kay for running the sale today.  Gena and Myrt came in later to help in the sale as well and Polly was invaluable as well. The grounds staff of Big John, Terry, Cindy and Cheryl all had a busy day of getting the gardens tidied up.  We're hosting a big event for the World Water Ski Competition which is held in Janesville again this year.  We'll have over 300 athletes, VIPs, guests, etc. enjoying the gardens this evening and are sprucing it up accordingly.  We also saw Bev F., Nancy N., Ron, Ray and many others today.  Kay was out tidying and planting mums and Dr. Gredler stopped by in the afternoon for some mowing.  Janice worked on some indoor projects with a full crew of our Chestnut House volunteers.  They did an awesome job.  Enjoy Ken's photography below!

meadow blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya) both above and below

same as above
milkweed (Asclepias sp.) above
meadow blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya) above
'Zowie! Yellow Flame' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) above
'Torch' Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) above
verbena (Verbena sp.) above
Simply Beautiful!

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