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.
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:
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!