Saturday, March 07, 2009

What a difference a year makes

Today the local university, Florida Institute of Technology, sponsored its annual Botanical Fest. It was at last year's Botanical Fest that Judi conceived the idea that she wanted to plant a butterfly garden, and purchased her very first butterfly plants. At the end of that day, just a year ago, all we had were a bunch of plants in pots, for which Judi had paid too much (we were just learning), sitting on her deck. That was it.

Now, a year later, we have Butterfly Garden 1, Butterfly Garden 2, Butterfly Garden 3 (aka the Native Garden), Milkweed Gardens 1 and 2, the Herb Garden, a couple of grass gardens, a bed of bidens pilosa, a bed of Partridge Peas (where, just this past week, I watched a Cloudless Sulphur lay eggs), an extensive series of plantings in a Shade Garden (hoping to attract Zebra Longwings), and three citrus trees (Giant Swallowtail hosts). Not to mention the huge mesh enclosure that houses an entire Cassia tree in a pot, and numerous smaller mesh and screen houses that shelter plants, caterpillars, and butterflies when needed.

Since Judi started with nothing more than that assortment of overpriced plants in pots on her deck a year ago, she has raised and released 359 butterflies, comprising nine different species.

On the one had it seems like she has come so far. On the other, it seems like she's just getting started....


If you have pictures of the various butterfly gardens along with a listing of plants used to attract the 9 species of butterflies, I would really like to post a link on my website ( to the information. Thanks for sharing! Dan Thomas

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