About a month ago I wrote about how to make your garden more pollinator-friendly (you can find that here). We had just found approximately 15 monarch caterpillars on the swamp milkweed in the North Garden. In the meantime we have been searching high and low for the chrysalises the caterpillars would form before becoming butterflies. We did not have any luck in our search, but just this past week we’ve noticed an influx of monarch butterflies in the gardens. The timing is just about right for the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly (the entire timeline is about three and half weeks).
Walking through the gardens today (especially the Cutting garden), monarch butterflies were floating above and around me from every direction. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I was mesmerized.
These gorgeous butterflies will soon begin their migration to Mexico for the winter, so stop in to see them before they take off on their long journey south.
If you aren’t able to make it here in time, enjoy this photo series of the monarchs fueling up in the gardens. The monarchs definitely have their favorite flowers, but they also embrace any easy pollen source available. I’ve included the flower name with each picture so you can plan to help feed the monarch butterflies next year!
(The featured image at top is variegated Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium fortunei ‘Frosted Elegance’).