Miss Bloomers Butterfly Garden

Description

I started gardening about thirty-five years ago when my boys were very young. I was a stay-at-home mom and we had bought a new tract home with no landscaping in the backyard.  Gardening became a great way for me to spend time with my boys outside, and while they played I planted a few shrubs and flowers. The first year of planting I was hooked. We had a small yard so it was easy to see the results in a short time. We also had the worst soil so I educated myself on how to improve soil, and within a few years I had a created a small cottage garden on a very small budget. 

We outgrew our home and when we shopped for a larger place to raise our sons, a large yard was a requirement. We were able to find the perfect older home on a greenbelt that included a big yard with mature trees next to a lake in Oklahoma City.  The yard was in need of some help but it was perfect for our growing family, so I got to work making the garden my own. Twenty-five years later we have a mature landscape with many flowering shrubs, annuals, and perennials. I'm still adding to it and trying to minimize the lawn and plant more native shrubs and flowers. We have lots of wildlife that live here and visit each year. Hummingbirds, racoons, deer, fox, horned owls, rabbits, and many types of birds frequent our garden. Our garden is a place of enjoyment and we have friends who want to visit every year. My husband bought me a small greenhouse two years ago and I have really enjoyed having a place to overwinter my geraniums and herbs.   

Several years ago I got really interested in monarch butterflies, especially since we are right along their migration path. We found hundreds of butterflies early one fall morning roosting in our pecan and oak trees. We were amazed to watch them fly off as the temperatures rose that morning. I started reading about monarch conservation and we have visited several monarch sanctuaries in California. Three years ago I had created a large enough garden and registered as a Monarch Waystation. My garden has several varieties of milkweed, including butterfly weed, tropical and hairy ball planted throughout. Each year monarchs lay their eggs and we enjoy watching their lifecycle. We have seen a big increase in bumblebees as well.

Two years ago we had an amazing migration here in Oklahoma City and Tulsa as thousands of monarchs passed through and we were able to capture them on video as well as in photgraphs. I participate and submit data to Journey North each year for monarchs and hummingbirds. I am also am a member of Okies for Monarchs and advocate for planting milkweed in everyone's gardens. Gardening is vital to me now and provides hours of exercise and enjoyment for me and my family. I named my butterfly garden after the blog I created: Miss Bloomers. I think everyone should enjoy a garden, even if it's a patio pot of flowers or herbs on a windowsill. 

-Story contributed by Sonia K.

Photos Show

Cardinal perched on a garden bench

Cardinal perched on a garden bench

The garden is visited by hummingbirds, owls, and more. [View Additional File Details]

The author's first garden

The author's first garden

Sonia started the garden while staying at home with her children. [View Additional File Details]

The garden is a registered Monarch Waystation

The garden is a registered Monarch Waystation

Sonia is a member of Okies for Monarchs. [View Additional File Details]

The current garden

The current garden

A larger space to raise children and experiment with new plants. [View Additional File Details]

A bumblebee stops for a visit

A bumblebee stops for a visit

Flowers attract many pollinators. [View Additional File Details]

The garden is full of brightly-colored flowers

The garden is full of brightly-colored flowers

Flowers attract all types of wildlife to the yard. [View Additional File Details]

The garden is a designated Monarch Waystation

The garden is a designated Monarch Waystation

Sonia plants flowers to attract butterflies. [View Additional File Details]

A hummingbird visits a feeder

A hummingbird visits a feeder

One of many types of birds that are attracted to Sonia's garden. [View Additional File Details]

Stargazer lilies

Stargazer lilies

The flowers stand out against the green hedges. [View Additional File Details]

Flowers in the garden

Flowers in the garden

The expanse of lawn is broken up by planters and flower beds. [View Additional File Details]

Spring flowers in pots

Spring flowers in pots

Hedges and lawn in the background. [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

“Miss Bloomers Butterfly Garden,” Community of Gardens, accessed September 24, 2020, https:/​/​communityofgardens.​si.​edu/​items/​show/​12401.​
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