by Barbara Walvoord
First published in the Lathrop Lamp Post of August 18-24, 2018
Resident Alice Richardson clipped branches from a number of the native plants in the garden near Inn, and laid them out on a table as illustrations for the residents who would attend her talk last Tuesday.
At the presentation, a resident picked up a swamp milkweed branch from the table, and surprise—unbeknownst to Alice, there was a monarch butterfly chrysalis on it.
While Alice was talking, a monarch butterfly was flitting around the garden’s two species of milkweed—the only plant the monarch larvae can eat. We residents remember when monarchs were Continue reading Our Lathrop Nursery
Wanted: Useful Plants for Lathrop Landscaping
By Barbara Walvoord
At Lathrop, new plants are always being installed and old plants replaced. Imagine that you are interviewing new plant candidates for your garden or other landscaped areas around you.
Today’s candidates include two alien plants that evolved in Asia but are currently found on both campuses (burning bush [Euonymus alata] and daylily (Hemerocallis ‘stella d’oro’] and two native plants that evolved in New England and are currently planted by a few residents in their cottage gardens (native highbush blueberry [Vaccinium corymbusum] and native butterfly weed [Asclepius tuberosa], a member of the milkweed family).
Interviewer: Do you look beautiful, and can you be kept looking neat? All plants: YES!
Interviewer: Do you need lots of water, herbicides, and fertilizer? All plants: Nope, not a lot.
Interviewer: Birds, bees, and butterflies are in decline. How can you help them? Continue reading Wanted: Useful Plants for Lathrop Landscaping
by Barbara Walvoord
First published in the Lathrop Lamp Post of Sept. 23-29, 2017
This photo by Adele Dowell shows the next stage of the story of Mona the butterfly, which I’ve been tracking through this column. The story began when Adele Dowell planted native orange butterfly weed in her cottage garden. It’s a member of the milkweed family–the only plant family that monarch butterfly larvae can eat.
Mona’s mother laid her eggs on Adele’s butterfly weed and then died. Mona the caterpillar (I’ll call her a female) emerged from her egg and ate holes in some of the butterfly weed leaves, shedding her skin several times to accommodate her growing girth. She escaped being snatched by a mama or papa bird and becoming part of the several thousand caterpillars it takes to raise a nest of bluebirds or Continue reading Superbutterfly is Born!