Imagine Northeast Iowa

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Got Milkweed? Help Save the Monarch in Northeast Iowa
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Got Milkweed? Help Save the Monarch in Northeast Iowa

This butterfly gardener is concerned about not seeing as many monarch butterflies each year. The monarch butterfly here in beautiful northeast Iowa could use our help. This spring we need to plant milkweed to help the monarch survive. We got free seeds at Java John’s in Decorah and planted them in our butterfly garden. They were also giving them away at the Chick Hatchery and Oneota Food Coop. They are donated by a group called Winneshiek County Protectors. On the seed packet it says it simply, “One seed can make a difference. We need you to plant it.”

I have a variety of colored flying flowers in my gardens that add so much to our landscape. The memory of the first butterfly to arrive in this gardener’s purple coneflowers is as vivid as the scene itself and was captured with digital photography to enjoy over and over again. I’m happy to report the great spangled fritillary and my monarchs graced the pages of this issue of Inspire(d) magazine and is on canvas for sale at the Rubiayant restaurant.

Your garden can make a difference to the shrinking habitat of butterflies that flutter through our area. Insecticides will kill your butterflies. Don’t use insecticides in or near your butterfly garden or anywhere on your property. It can also harm people as well as pets and wildlife.

You can make your butterfly garden safe and welcoming by making a place that offers protection from wind and rain. Did you know that a rain drop on a butterfly is like a barrel of water poured on a human? Providing a food source pesticide free and allowing weeds and wildflowers to remain can serve as host plants where butterflies can lay their eggs. Butterflies also needs include plenty of sunshine and mud puddles where they can sip needed nutrients. I put a dish of old tea with a rock or sponge for them to land on. I saw this tip at Reiman Gardens Butterfly Wing in Ames.

Planting lots of flowers from spring to early fall seasons will span the entire butterfly season and invite the dazzling display of flying flowers to your garden! It’s that easy to help the monarch butterflies!

Take a moment to enjoy one of nature’s beautiful works of art as the colorful movement glides in the air and lands ever so softly on the petals of flowers you planted for them, knowing you are helping the environment and getting twice as much back in return! Pick up your free packets of milkweed today and help our beautiful monarchs. All you have to do is plant it.


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