By Roz Weis,
Summer has officially begun and the City Prairie and Butterfly Garden are both starting to show off their colors, and volunteers are being sought to help maintain the plots for the Adopt-a-Plant Program.
A prairie is a wonderful place to visit multiple times each season, as there is something different coming into bloom every week.
If you get to the butterfly garden quickly, you may still have a chance to see the Prairie Smoke “smoking” as it has already gone to seed. Another early bloomer is Golden Alexander which holds its yellow color after it fades. The Blue-eyed Grass was early and now done blooming, while the Spiderwort, Foxglove Beardtongue, Blue Flag Iris and Canada Anemone are in full force. Just starting this week, you can find Pale Purple Coneflower, White Indigo and Wild Quinine.
Prairie plants have tremendous root systems and are adapted to survive low rainfall, drying winds and fire. Many home gardeners have begun to use prairie flowers in their landscaping because once established, they require little care. Despite our dry spring and early summer in Decorah, the prairie and butterfly garden plants look great!
The Butterfly Garden is a place where visitors can come to see individual specimen plots and learn the growth habits of flowers and grasses they may be interested in trying in their own landscape. This year we are trying to highlight certain flowers as they come into bloom. There are also signs focusing on specific butterflies that might be found in the garden.
The City has an Adopt-a-Plant Program and is always looking for more volunteers to help maintain the flower plots. Volunteers meet every Tuesday morning from 9 until 11, May to October, to care for the Butterfly Garden specimen plots. As the days get warmer, we move to an earlier time (8-10 a.m.) to beat the heat. Some volunteers choose other times that better fit their schedule.
Organizers said if you like to garden, wish to learn more about our native prairie plants, spend time with others who enjoy plants, and want to contribute to this special place, you are welcome to show up any Tuesday.
For more information, contact Decorah Parks and Recreation, 563-382-4158.