Butterflies come from caterpillars and caterpillars can only eat very specific plants. To attract adult butterflies, a garden needs to have good nectar-producing plants to feed the adults and, just as importantly, the specific native host plants for the next generation. We will look at some of the diverse species of Milkweeds that attract Monarch and some other garden-worthy wildflowers that nurture local butterflies, as caterpillars and as adults.
Guest speaker Trish Murphy has been growing native plants for more than twenty years. She was on the board of the North American Native Plant Society and ran their annual plant sale for several years, and then the Seed Exchange for a couple more years. Renting 6 ft of heated greenhouse space in Toronto, she produced hundreds of native plants for the annual sale. When she moved to the Ottawa area six years ago, she immediately began growing native plants, and started selling her surplus at local Farmers Markets in western Quebec. This quickly became Beaux Arbres Native Plants nursery. She and her partner Michael have been vendors at the Experimental Farm’s Mother’s Day sale for 5 years, and at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden June Native Plant Sale for four years. Last year they joined the Westboro Ottawa Farmers Market, bringing a selection of plants to Ottawa in the spring and late summer.
Trish has been a member of the Field Botanists of Ontario since 1997. She loves experimenting with new species and new germination techniques — the only drawback to growing plants is being too tied to the nursery to go on botanical field trips to see new species in the wild.
Monthly meetings are open to OHS members and non-members alike at no charge. Meeting room is upstairs.
Photos provided by Trish Murphy.