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Butterflies' Guide to Greater Philadelphia Gardens
by Louise R. Eliason, Coordinator, Greater Philadelphia Gardens - posted 5/24/2011
Butterfly Gardens and Events at Greater Philadelphia Gardens
What do May wildflowers bring? Butterflies! Children seem to delight in seeing and chasing these colorful, winged creatures all over Greater Philadelphia Gardens these days. One might think that butterflies are similarly amused, as they flutter just out of reach of little peoples’ fingers.
After all the Spring rain, Greater Philadelphia Gardens are bursting with blooms from beautiful native flowering trees and plants and wildflowers, that attract and sustain butterflies (and birds, bees and wildlife) in this area. Several Greater Philadelphia Gardens have dedicated butterfly gardens, exhibits and workshops this season including: Camden Children’s Garden, Mt Cuba Center , Tyler Arboretum and others as provided below by members of Greater Philadelphia Gardens.
Flutter over to these great butterfly gardens, habitats and workshops this Spring!
1.) Bowmans’ Hill Wildflower Preserve
1635 River Road, New Hope, PA • 215.862.2924
August 6, 2011, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Explore and observe the world of insects in our wildflower meadow.
2.) Brandywine Conservancy
U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA 19317 • Phone: 610-388-2700
Photo credits: Mark Gormel
Wildflower Gardens at Brandywine River Museum Sustain Butterflies and Wildlife
Sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) are showy yellow flowers that open for the Memorial Day visitor and bloom for more than a month. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), with clusters of small orange, red or yellow flowers, is seen blooming in hot sunny areas from early June into September. As with other members of the milkweed family, it is an exclusive food source for the larvae of the Monarch butterfly, while flowers provide nectar for adult butterflies of all kinds.
July brings orange Turk's Cap Lilies (Lilium superbum) and orange-yellow Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) once used by Indians as a thickening agent for meat soups. Several varieties of coneflower, including Thin-Leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba), Showy Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida variety speciosa), and Green-Headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) bring butterflies to the gardens from July through September.
The intense red spikes of Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis), with intense red spikes, are a favorite of both butterflies and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds also play a major role in pollinating the orange-red flowers of the Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) found vigorously climbing lamp poles in the parking areas
3.) Camden Childrens' Garden
3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 0810 • 856-365-8733
Open - Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Thurs by Reservation.
The Garden is closed on Mon, Tues & Wed.
Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House
The Butterfly House Tent is adjacent to the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House and Education Centre. It offers a smaller, more intimate space that can seat up to 30 guests. During chilly weather the sides can be installed and a small heater will warm up the space. This tent also accommodates birthday parties on weekends and is equipped with three large picnic tables.
Spring Butterfly Ride
Take an exciting ride above the tree tops of the Camden Children’s Garden in the brand new Spring Butterfly Ride! For a modest fee, the Spring Butterfly Ride provides a unique opportunity for families to ride above the Garden for a butterfly’s eye view of garden features and visitors. The Ride is 30 feet high and consists of a brightly colored column to which two sets of five seats are attached. The ride lifts riders to the top of that column and “springs” down again.
4.) Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, DE 19707 • (302) 239-4244
Photography workshop: Butterflies and wildflowers at Mt. Cuba Center
Photograph colorful butterflies as they light on native plants at Mt. Cuba Center.
Date: Saturday, July 16
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Instructor: Joshua Taylor, Jr., Photographer
The gardens, woodlands, ponds, and meadow will be the inspiration for this all-day workshop geared to all levels of photographic skill. Participants will learn how to capture striking images of butterflies and flowers. The focus of the workshop will be on photographic techniques and the use of basic photographic equipment to capture impressive nature images.
The workshop includes an illustrated handout, a digital presentation, field shooting sessions with the instructor, and a critique of participants’ images. Please bring your own lunch.
Joshua Taylor has over 30 years of experience in photography including newspaper and magazine photography. He specializes in nature, landscape, and garden photography and has run workshops at the Smithsonian, Longwood Gardens, and the U.S. National Arboretum, as well as others.
Mt Cuba Center: Butterflies in Your Garden
Get to know the plants that attract caterpillars and butterflies.
Date: Saturday, August 20
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructors: Eileen Boyle, David Korbonits, Mt. Cuba Center
Are you fascinated with butterflies? Discover the most common butterflies you might find in your backyard. Learn about the ecology of these dazzling insects, including their lifecycles, amazing transformations, and habitats. Attract butterflies to your garden by growing plants that caterpillars love. Learn what flowers to put in a butterfly garden. Take a walk in Mt. Cuba Center’s meadow and see which native plants attract butterflies and caterpillars. You will even take home a native plant that butterflies love.
Instructor Eileen Boyle is the public programs manager at Mt. Cuba Center. Previously she was the director of horticulture at the Philadelphia Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. She has also worked as a horticulture professor, an administrator for New York City’s parks, and for the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
David Korbonit has been the Meadow horticulturist at Mt. Cuba Center for over 20 years. He has a great interest in the interaction of native plants and the wildlife that depends on them.
5.) Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road, Media, PA 19063 • 610-566-9134
Tyler’s Butterfly House and Garden
Experience the annual return of Tyler's native butterflies and caterpillars to our live Butterfly House. Experience the beautiful pollinators and the plants they need to survive.
The Butterfly House offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about, photograph and get a close-up look at local butterflies in all stages of development. The exhibit features a 1,400-square-foot House filled with natives including monarchs, sulphurs, hairstreaks, red-spotted purples, great spangled fritillaries, painted ladies and swallowtails. The exhibition includes extensive plantings that feed both butterflies and caterpillars.
The goal of Tyler's Butterfly House exhibition is to promote greater understanding about a significant aspect of ecology and human interaction with the natural world.
All of the House's butterflies are captured here at the Arboretum by trained staff and volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for this program contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 610-566-9134, x205. No experience is necessary; training will be provided.
Tyler’s Butterfly House volunteer training
June 7, 2011 1-3 pm
No experience necessary. Pre-registration required; please call Judy Bell, Volunteer Coordinator at 610-566-9134, ext. 205
Share your love of nature and join our corps of dedicated Butterfly House volunteers. This fun training session will impart fascinating information about butterflies, caterpillars, and the plants they need for survival. Volunteers are needed for the duration of this popular exhibit (July 2 – September 4) to greet visitors as they enter the Butterfly House and share information about what is happening in the habitat that day. There are also openings for butterfly netters.
Tyler’s Butterfly House Exhibition
Sat, Jul 2 - Wed Aug 31, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Get up close and personal with Tyler's native butterflies and caterpillars
Tyler Arboretum Butterflies & Buggy Buddies Special Event
Sunday, September 4, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free with admission; no pre-registration required
Say farewell to the monarch butterflies as they leave for their southern migration. Observe monarch tagging, discover oodles of other live insect friends, create beautiful sidewalk chalk murals and participate in our Butterfly Parade and more!
Visit Greater Philadelphia Gardens’ website and Facebook for updates on these and more great events and workshops at 30 public gardens within 30 miles of Philadelphia!