Michigan Native Plants

  (SAGINAW, Michigan)
Wildflowers Native Plants
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I saw my first butterfly yesterday & immediately thought of Brenda Dziedzic. Brenda is the author of Butterflies in the Garden, President & Co-founder of the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association & the attendees favorite at the 25th Wildflower Association of Michigan Conference (the rooms consensus was to invite her back next year — never seen that happen before!).

Though Lynn’s love is woodland wildflowers, she utilizes Joe Pye Weed as a privacy screen to the east & includes Milkweed species & native asters in all areas. So there are always butterflies in the nursery — BetterFinds grounds is Certified Monarch Waystation #1657. Religious in her deadheading since all are prolific seeders, her losing battle is confirmed each spring. And because we never really finish spring cleaning around the bog or pot/sell/clear enough of this areas self-seeders, by season’s end its edge has become an overgrown nectar oasis; fall clean-up slowed as we must first search this mini-bramble for chrysalis to move into the garage for overwintering.

I bought Brenda’s book to help identify the butterfly eggs & caterpillars that are constantly noticed. Butterflies in the Garden is a wonderful picture book for adults, a reference bible for anyone with a love of butterflies, a butterfly garden or wishing to rear butterflies. And always finding something new & stupid to do each year, I purchased mesh to wrap plants, protecting the eggs found & hopefully raise them to adulthood. May this turn out as well as the bees . . . . .

I always wanted a bee hive but Lynn was more than cool to the idea. In 2009 I made a gift of electrical panels from a drive-in theatre demolition to a entomologist I work with. Reciprocating, he ordered a hive for me (Lynn, it really was an unsolicited gift). I’ll never forget her first visit to the hive: “So how many bees are going live here?” “Maybe 20-30,000 by the end of the year,” I honestly answered. “Yeah, right! [As she walked away].

Naturally Lynn has been the only one stung — a returning bee ended up under her glasses. She has warmed to their presence, like all visitors gravitating to the hive —even moving a bench close to facilitate watching. And it does fit our yard — its constant support of pollinators that are in wholesale decline (bumblebee & butterfly hyperlinks); the artificial Mason Bee drilled deadfall; the two ant hills encouraged since they help propagate the Trillium, Bloodroot & Wild Ginger [See elaiosomes & myrmecochory]; my 2011 ‘stupid idea’ — create an ‘abandoned rodent burrow’ in hopes of attracting a bumblebee queen.

Lynn had to work the second day of the Wildflower Conference, not having the pleasure of meeting Brenda. Recognizing immediately that one is as passionate about butterflies as the other is about wildflowers, a road-trip is in order . . . . .

Brenda is dedicating her Butterfly House on June 1st & I plan to be there. Since Lynn is not computer-friendly (she doesn’t even read our blog) it will be a surprise. I can’t wait for their meeting — one crazy Lady meeting another. And the worlds a better place because of them!


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