Not sure if you remember, but about three years ago we decided to put in a garden to supply the Inn with wonderful fresh vegetables—“garden to table” idea. Five plots about 30’ by 60’ were plowed. The planting, harvesting, and weeding became Chuck’s and my “new job,” or I should say challenge. Then we got a little wiser (only took 2 years) and decided not to plant all 5 plots this year. We let one go back to grass, and I planted a butterfly garden in one. Butterfly Garden? Well, we have all read about bees and butterflies being endangered and dying because of all the pesticides, and lack of “breeding plants.” Therefore, I contacted Don Pelly, Shaker Village’s naturalist, (he taught our children biology in high school) to ask for his advice.
He in turn gave me Mary Carol Copper’s contact information. She had just put in a similar garden at the Village and is the former state horticulturist putting in advising the development of gardens, butterfly gardens, etc all over the state. A wealth of information, but the most fortunate thing is her other part time job is working at Shooting Star Nursery in Winchester, Kentucky. This nursery only sells native Kentucky plants. My new best friend Mary Carol not only planned my butterfly garden, but she brought the plants to Harrodsburg for me! So I planted and mulched my garden in early June using half of one of the big plots, planting sunflowers and zinnias in the other half because butterflies like color—I am sure you knew that! I then applied to become a certified Monarch Waystation because our butterfly garden has three types of milkweed, nectar plants, and shelter for monarch butterflies. Beaumont Inn’s Waystation number is 6875!
The rest of the gardens have almost drowned this summer with all the rain we have gotten, but Waystation 6875 has thrived and is growing. I keep watching for the Monarchs, none yet, but I have seen a lot of other butterflies! So the next time you come, walk the trail behind the Inn, check out the 3rd plot, walk the mulched path down the middle and watch for butterflies. My next goal is to label each plant so you and I will know at what plants we are looking, but until then just know there is milkweed, coneflower, asters, Joe Pye, and a few weeds.