When I was pregnant with my first child, I began to plant. I think that I wanted to see whether anything would really grow. Honestly, I didn’t expect much to happen. But in the Spring, just before my daughter made her appearance, magically my tulips, anemones, and daffodils appeared.
I was hooked.
My mom casually asked if I would like any cuttings from her garden, and I saw my opportunity. We transformed a zoysia-infested rose garden into one that features day lilies, monarda, black-eyed Susans, dahlias, and cleome. Imagine my surprise when they actually grew—and what delight I take in their beauty.
What began as an avocation became a passion. Today my pint-sized back yard features its pergola, surrounded by my raised beds with rose-of-Sharon, milkweed, sunflowers, zinnias, as well as all of my perennials. I revel in their beauty.
This past summer marked what I hope is a encouraging trend. Over the years, I have seen fewer butterflies. So I planted parsley and milkweed, the two items that I needed to claim the “Butterfly Garden” moniker. And, to my delight, the milkweed served as a great host, and the parsley was quite yummy for the caterpillars. I counted eight of them!
Twenty-five years ago I would never have predicted that I could grow anything! Now, I revel in its ever-changing beauty
-Story contributed by Judy M. through Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project, a program of the City of St. Louis Mayor's Office.