GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – To many people, butterflies can represent change, hope, and life. They add beauty to any garden and at the Green Bay Botanical Garden you can learn about the variety of butterflies and how to add to your garden to give them a helping hand.
If you just need a mental breather and want to learn about different species of butterflies at the same time, head to the newly opened Butterfly Pavilion at the Botanical Garden.
Education Manager, Linda Gutske showed Local 5 around the peaceful, tropical-like setting where there are literally hundreds of butterflies flying around.
Currently, there are over 20 different species of butterflies in the pavilion (step carefully!)
“Butterflies are our pollinators,” says Gutske. “The whole focus of this exhibit is let people know the importance of these pollinators.” By showing so many different species, their hope is members of the community will also appreciate the diversity. “Everyone knows the Monarch… but there’s a lot of other pollinators and some great ways for us to support the flyers that we have around Wisconsin.” She adds.
After the visit at the pavilion, you may feel inspired and want to add some plants that help not only butterflies, but the bee population as well.
According to Mark Konlock, Director of Horticulture at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, if you want butterflies in your garden, you’ll need caterpillars. “We all know about milkweed,” he says, “That can be pretty aggressive in the garden so Swamp milkweed is a plant you can add to help the caterpillars become Monarchs.”
Eventually when the butterflies emerge, you’ll want to have food for them to flourish. Konlock says Bee Balm is a great plant for the adults. It will flower later in the season and attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Sprinkling annuals throughout the garden is another way to give it “flower power,” he says.
With any garden comes insects, which may not necessarily be a bad thing. According to Konlock, “Studies have shown that the inspect population has gone down. Birds use caterpillars to feed their young, so if we don’t have insects we lose the bottom of the food chain.” Helping our insect friends by providing them food
Insects and other animal pollinators are vital to the production of healthy crops. They are also essential components of the ecosystem that many of them rely on for food and shelter.
The Butterfly exhibit at the Green Bay Botanical Garden runs through August 31 from 10 am – 5 pm daily. For more information on what to plant plus gardening tips, head to gbbg.org.
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