Waiting Patiently

We have some large projects going on at our house right now. The siding is being replaced and a few of the gardens are being revamped, once the siding is finished on each section. My husband is handy, so the siding job is his.

side bed2017

My job, fitting for a nature lover and master gardener, is to spruce up the beds, once the scaffolding moves on to another part of our dwelling.  Last night, I was working on a long bed next to our garage. Among others, it holds my common milkweed plants. As I worked along on the border, replacing sand between bricks, I finally had to give in and look. The healthy green leaves are just waiting for a monarch visit. Were there any eggs, I wondered? Probably not, to have eggs, one must have butterflies. I have yet to see a Monarch this year.  So, I looked. I looked at the common milkweed. I looked at the swamp milkweed in another bed. And I looked at the rose milkweed, started by my garden club students from seed in 2015. Nada. Nothing, but healthy plants waiting to nourish a beautiful insect that depends solely on the verdant leaves to life.

Patiently, I’ll wait. For the alst 14 years I have raised monarchs, planted new and restored old habitats for this species that undergoes a miraculous metamorphosis and even more astounding migration. It is awe inspiring to be part of the process. It is that awe that I use to engage my students in learning about the environment, biodiversity, and human impact.


Hopefully, the monarchs will visit my gardens this year. The milkweed and I are ready for them. Patiently, I will wait. Expectantly, I will observe. Joyfully, I will welcome them once they arrive.

If you’d like to learn more about Monarchs and their plight, I would recommend these resources:

Monarch Life Cycle

Population Decline

How you can help

Milkweed Types

Creating Habitat for Monarchs

Creating School Gardens for Monarchs

My Story: Gardening with School Aged Students & Monarch Habitat Conservation

There are many, many other resources that I am aware of. If you need specific information, please let me know and I can provide it or direct you.  Thanks!

Plant Milkweed!



11 thoughts

  1. I knew about the monarchs’ problems and that gardeners are encourage to grow a few milkweed plants to provide habitat and food, but I didn’t know that there were different kinds of milkweed plants. The monarchs must use them all? You have inspired me to see if my school could plant some in it’s garden.


    1. Hi, Beckymusician!

      Thanks for your comments. I tried attaching a link for your about milkweed types. The monarchs laid eggs on all three of the types of milkweed in my home gardens. At school we have common and whorled milkweed in our way station (certified through Monarch Watch in 2008). The Monarch Joint Venture has tons of resources on monarchs and gardens, even one on school gardens. I will put the milkweed type link on my original post. It will not let me add it here for some reason. Thanks! And, Good Luck! I hope they let you plant some milkweed! Every little bit helps!


    1. Thank you! The students love the monarchs and learing how important milkweed is for these butterflies! I added few more links to the bottom of the post as resources regarding the milkweed and gardening for monarchs. I also attached a link to my own story with our school garden. Thanks for your interest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Every time I visit your site, I learn so much! I think that you should consider developing a book on the topics that you’ve blogged about for other educators who would not only like to learn more, but who would also like to share this knowledge with their students. You have so much knowledge to share!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny that you mentioned milkweed. Mine did not return this year, maybe because they were devastated by some insects last year. I will have to try again. Good luck with all your planting. Such fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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