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Butterflies on Rocky Mountain Liatris in the Pump Garden

August 8, 2022

Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Liatris in the Pump Garden at Maryboro Lodge Museum

The gardens of the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society are not only beautiful, they are designed to provide habitat for pollinators. World-wide, pollinator populations are shrinking as a result of habitat loss, pesticides, climate change and invasive species. While seeing butterflies seemed like an everyday occurrence a few decades ago, having a monarch butterfly flutter by is becoming more and more of a special experience. But not so much around the gardens of the Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society.

In recent years, all of the gardens that the society has made have included native plants that support pollinators. “They provide nectar sources and habitat for larvae,” explains volunteer Judy Kennedy. It’s easy for gardeners to encourage pollinators at home. “Pearly everlasting supports the American Lady Butterfly. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed. Hackberry, cherry and oak trees are good too. Our pollinators have evolved with those plants and are better able to recognize them as food sources than exotics. And one of the most important things is not to use pesticides.” It’s much better to use natural remedies rather than chemicals.

In visiting the Horticultural Society’s Gardens, it’s easy to see what a difference their efforts make. There are often a great many butterflies, fluttering around a feeding. It’s a wonderful sight to see, and one of the many reasons to visit their gardens.

For more information on the locations of their gardens, check out this online tour of the Gardens of Fenelon Falls:

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