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On Sunday, April 19, I visited the Tulane River and Coastal Center garden where the Native Plant Initiative met back in June of 2019. I wanted to see this oasis nestled next to Mardi Gras World and the Mississippi River to see how the plants were liking their home in the downtown concrete jungle.

This native plant smorgasbord garden was sponsored by Tulane Bywater Institute and was planted by Tulane folks assisted by Susan Norris-Davis. She told me, "My connection here is that Mark Davis, my husband, is the current director of the Bywater Institute and he asked me to help install the garden." Here’s a link: bywater.tulane.edu 

Once a week Susan has been volunteering her time to tend this garden and her tender loving care has created a spot for nature's creatures to thrive. Seeing green plants and flowers in an area totally surrounded by buildings and paved streets not only provides sustenance for butterflies and pollinators but also brings smiles to human faces!

This garden is another perfect example of the saying, "Plant it and they will come!" During her weekly visits, Susan has enjoyed seeing Long-tailed Skippers collecting nectar from flowers plus she found a clutch of eggs on the Wisteria vine and a fat Black Swallowtail caterpillar!

During my visit, even though the weather was cloudy and windy, I saw a trio of insects: Lady Long-Tailed Skipper Black Swallowtail Monarch bugs, Groundsel Bugs, and some Honey Bees. However, what really caught my attention was the sea of native Aquatic milkweed sticks with twenty-two fat Monarchs chewing every last leaf.

Long-Tailed Skipper Black Swallowtail Monarch

Insects have found this oasis and are benefiting from its bounty! When adding native plants to your garden, you will be successful growing them if you can replicate the growing conditions these plants use in nature's varying habitats. Seeing these plants in action displayed in public locations also helps gardeners to determine which ones they would like to add to their own gardens as an invitation to enhance their butterfly and pollinator activity.

To see the entire article that I wrote, click here.

Is your garden ready for MONARCH MIGRATION? Check out the BugLady's list of available nectar and caterpillar host plants for May! 

Photo provided by Noah Simon. Caterpillars eat milkweed, their only source of food.

Plants available May 2020
Barber Laboratories
504-739-5715
6444 Jefferson Highway in Harahan
(Social distancing outside in backyard)
Monday thru Friday 9:30-5:00

 

Butterfly Nectar Plants

Item Size
Bee Balm - white (Monarda)  4"
Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) 4"
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 1 gallon & 3 gallon
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)  4"
Clasping coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis)  4" pot & 6" round
Crabapple tree (Malus)  3 gallon
Eupitorium odoratum 1 gallon
Garden Phlox (Phlox panicullata) Robert Poore 6" round
Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) 4"
Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica)  6" round
Ironweed (Vernonia)  6" round
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)  4"
Lemon Bee Balm  (Monarda citriodora)        4"
Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus)  4"
Mistflower  (Conoclinium coelestinum) 4"
Mountain mint: Slender (Pynanthemum tenuifolium) Quart
Mountain Mint - Slender (Pynanthemum tenuifolium) 1 gallon
Mountain Mint - Big Leaf (Pynanthemum muticum)  6" round
Penstemon: White Wand (Penstemon tubaeflorus) 4"
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirins) 4"
September Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) 4”, 6" & 1 gallon
September Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolia) 4 “, 6" & 1 gallon
Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora) 4"
Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)  6" &  1 gallon & 3 gallon

Caterpillar Host Plants

Item Size
Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora) (for Spicebush Swallowtails) 1 gallon
Cassia - "Candelabra" (Cassia alata) (for Sulphur butterflies) 6"
Cassia - "Partridge Pea" (Cassia fasciculata) (for Sulphur butterflies)  4"
Dill (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Fennel - green or bronze (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Hop Tree also called Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) (for Giant Swallowtail) 3 gallon
Lead Plant (Amorpha fruticosa)(for Silver Spotted Skipper & Dogface Sulphur) 4"
Milkweed: Aquatic- white flower (Asclepias perennis) (for Monarch) 4"
Parsley - curled or straight leaf (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Passion Flower Vine (Passiflora incarnata) (for Gulf Fritillary) 1 gallon
Senna - (Senna corymbosa) (for Sulphur butterflies) 4”

 

Is your garden ready for MONARCH MIGRATION? Check out the Buglady's list of available nectar and caterpillar host plants for April! 

Plants available April 2020
Barber Laboratories
504-739-5715
6444 Jefferson Highway in Harahan
(Social distancing outside in backyard)
Monday thru Friday 9:30-5:00

Butterfly Nectar Plants

Item Size
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)  4"
Bee Balm - white (Monarda)  4"
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)  4"
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 1 gallon & 3 gallon
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)  4"
Clasping coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis)  4" pot & 6" round
Crabapple tree (Malus  3 gallon
Eupitorium odoratum 1 gallon
Ironweed (Vernonia)  6" round
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)  4"
Mountain mint: Slender (Pynanthemum tenuifolium) Quart
Mountain Mint (Pynanthemum muticum)  6" round
Penstemon: White Wand (Penstemon tubaeflorus) 4"
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirins) 4"
September Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) 4”
September Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolia) 4 “
Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora) 4"
Virginia Willow (Itea virginica)  6" & gallon

Caterpillar Host Plants

Item Size
Cassia - "Candelabra" (Cassia alata) (for Sulphur butterflies) 6"
Cassia - "Popcorn" (Cassia didymobotrya) (for Sulphur butterflies)  1 gallon
Cassia -  Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) (for Sulphur butterflies) 4"
Dill (for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Fennel - green or bronze(for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Hop Tree also called Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) (for Giant Swallowtail) 3 gallon
Lead Plant (Amorpha fruticosa)(for Silver Spotted Skipper & Dogface Sulphur) 4"
Milkweed: Aquatic- white flower (Asclepias perennis) (for Monarch) 4"
Milkweed: Swamp- pink flower (Asclepias incarnata) (for Monarch) 4"
Parsley - curled or straight leaf(for Black Swallowtail) 4"
Passion Flower Vine (Passiflora incarnata) (for Gulf Fritillary) 1 gallon
Senna - (Senna corymbosa) (for Sulphur butterflies) 4”

 

 

On January 25, 2020 the Baton Rouge Master Gardeners from Hilltop Arboretum hosted a fantastic Gardening Symposium event packed with very informative nature presentations plus book and plant sales to help further education!                Doug Tallamy, nationally known speaker and author of Nature's Best Hope, was promoting the use of native plants to support wildlife whereas Bill Fontenot, author of Native Gardening in the South was more focused on planting for birds.   I felt very honored to be sharing the stage with these two very knowledgeable friends of mine as I was presenting, "Plant It and They Will Come!" --how to attract butterflies to your garden using specific native plants. Thank you, Hilltop folks for selling forty copies of my new book, "BugLady's Butterfly Summer"!  What a wonderful day!