Summer has officially begun and the City Prairie and Butterfly Garden are both starting to show off their colors. A prairie is a wonderful place to visit multiple times each season, as something different comes into bloom every week.
If folks get to the butterfly garden quickly, they 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 is now done blooming, while the Spiderwort, Foxglove Beardtongue, Blue Flag Iris and Canada Anemone are in full force. Just starting this week, one 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 the 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 there will be highlights as certain flowers 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 9-11 a.m., May to October, to care for the Butterfly Garden specimen plots. As the days get warmer, some volunteers meet at 8-10 a.m. to beat the heat, or choose other times that better fit their schedule.
Those who like to garden, or wish to learn more about our native prairie plants, spend time with others who enjoy plants, or want to contribute to the City Prairie and Butterfly Garden, are welcome to show up any Tuesday to join in. For more information, contact Decorah Parks and Recreation at 563-382-4158.