Students at Simply Imagine Early Childhood Learning Center in Pryor, OK are growing and maintaining their own butterfly, herb and vegetable gardens to learn more about nature and healthy living.
My butterfly garden that I started in 2015.
Small raised bed garden. Boxes were made and planted by Girl Scout. Open to public
Flowers are my happy place but I’ve found that they’re even more enjoyable when pollinators and other wildlife are using them. We have beds in front and behind our house that offer a variety of native and horticultural versions of flowering plants. I’ve tried to include species that flower throughout the growing season and am working to limit chemicals that I unknowingly bring into the garden with new plants. We’ve been rewarded with a variety of pollinators ranging from, bees and wasps, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and even bats (although most of those are likely insectivorous). Its always a work in progress, but also always a labor of love.
Small butterfly garden for our granddaughter
In spring of this year my hubby and I moved into a new (old) craftsman bungalow in midtown Tulsa, OK that had zero pollinator plants. Since moving day, we have added two water features, 20 planted containers, 5 hummingbird feeders, added fence and shade/shelter, and planted dozens upon dozens of native perennials for nectar sources, including more than 20 milkweed plants of at least 3 varieties. We made sure to do most of our buying from local mom-n-pop plant stores as well as at local festivals. I will also apply for NWF habitate and Monarch Waystation…but that has not happened yet. (You can count on me to do that next month (so count me in your numbers is you wish.)
Nathan Hale Public Library has created a monarch/pollinator garden.
Gardening for pollinators, guerrilla style! Not Really, but the best gardener has always been Mother Nature! So 2 years ago I decided to stop mowing the grass in my back yard. Wow! the amount of different species that were there, just needing a chance to bloom, was mind blowing!
Milkweeds, coneflowers, Gallardia, partridgepea, native lespedezas, Salvia, Liatris, the list goes on! The native grasses were given a chance to grow, providing nesting cover for songbirds and even quail!
The icing on the cake was having a monarch visit a patch of cowpen daisy last fall on its return migration, my first sighting (that I have been paying attention).
The Cherokee Nation Heirloom Garden and Native Plant Site was initially created to preserve Cherokee heirloom seeds unique to the tribe. After the preservation of heirlooms was underway, it was natural to start adding a variety of culturally important native plants to the site as well. This provides a great opportunity for Cherokees to continue the traditions of our ancestors and elders, as well as educate our youth in Cherokee culture. These plants represent centuries of Cherokee cultural/agricultural history.
With the addition of native plants at the site, many varieties of native flowers and a few species of milkweed have been added to the site. New plants are added every year and the diversity of the garden just continues to grow. There are rock beds throughout the garden displayed in culturally relevant shapes. If you look closely, you may even spot the butterfly.
We have 3 certified Waystations at the Tulsa Zoo with the largest being the Conservation Garden. This is a large pollinator garden and certfied Waystation with over 100 native Oklahoma plants, including multiple species of milkweed. The Garden showcases not only the native pollinator plants but also explains how to get started with planting a garden and it also shows the importance of native grasses in our state and there is a large rain garden which helps teach about water conservation and how native plants play a role against erosion with slowing down water and sinking it to help replenish the ground water.