Something amazing has been happening in my garden.
Tons of Monarchs.
It's so magical to walk through my garden right now -- and be surrounded by them.
(I love it.)
A few years ago, I decided to certify my butterfly garden as a Monarch Waystation. This program is an attempt by the Monarch Watch organization to encourage home gardeners to plant more milkweed and create an environment to help sustain Monarch butterflies. (Although the Monarch is not endangered, their numbers are lessening -- and the flightpath from the eastern United States to Mexico is the one most at risk of disappearing right now.)
When I first told Tom and Brian that I was going to create a Monarch Waystation, they had a lot of fun at my expense. While they were very supportive and actually thought it was cool . . . they also would "call" me and ask if I had any openings for Monarch, party of 8. (And other things along that line.)
Anyway. It's easy to create a Monarch Waystation. All you need is a little space, milkweed plants (the only plants Monarchs use to lay their eggs), nectar plants (for food), and sustainable management practices (mulching, composting, watering, no pesticides, etc.). You just fill out an application, submit a nominal fee ($16), and your garden becomes certified.
It's taken a few years, but my garden has become a magical place for Monarchs!
Reservations? Absolutely not required!