Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

front gate in snow

Now in our 65th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

newsletter imageNewsletter

Current Issue of The Fringed Gentian™
Fall 2017

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Newsletter archive - all back issues.

The Spring 2018 issue will be published near the end of March.

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

graphic Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 142 pages, thumbnail photos of 437 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 578 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are approximately 1.5 inches by 2 inches.

In addition, 114 grasses, sedges, large shrubs and trees of the Garden are line listed without photos. Full index. Information about the Garden, the curators and about The Friends. $21 plus $3 shipping.

More Details and Order Information

Winter Shelter Scenes

pld garden cabinPhotos of the Wildflower Garden Shelter in the Winter, over the past 80 years. We begin with our oldest winter photo from 1936 and end with our latest from 2017. The old "little cabin" that was the Garden tool room, office, visitor center & shelter is shown here tucked into the winter snowdrifts on March 9, 1953. It is visited occasionally in the winter by the Garden Curator, Martha Crone, as the winding depression in the snow, which is the path from the front gate, indicates. All is quiet on a brilliant winter day - the kind Martha would be thinking of when she wrote "What a Fairyland the woods present after a snowstorm. The new snow muffles the echoes, and there is a new beauty where only bare bleakness existed before." Go to Photos Page.

Donald DaytonDonald Dayton and The Friends

Donald C. Dayton was a founding member of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden and a director for our first six years. His mother, Grace Bliss Dayton, was an active Friends member. Read more.

Garden Plant of the Week


Tanacetum vulgare L.


Eloise Butler's Notes

Eloise liked the Tansy and brought it into the Wildflower Garden in 1910. Her reason for planting it, along with several other aggressive plants was to contain Creeping Charley. She wrote: "Various other rampant, naturalized plants, with pleasing foliage or flowers . . . have been planted around him, which, together with the native goldenrods, will tussle with one another for possession of the field. We shall watch the scrimmage with somewhat, we fear, of the Irish delight in a shindy. Last November Tansy also was planted among the contestants. Every root has grown and blossomed, and it bids fair to spread and hold its own with odds in its favor. Tansy is found on the sites of burned down or abandoned houses in the country and is associated with days long past. The finely curt leaves have a pungent odor and the flower disks, bright and golden as sunlight are fine for large bouquets."

A Seasonal Poem

WHEN the wind works against us in the dark,
And pelts with snow
The lower chamber window on the east,
And whispers with a sort of stifled bark,
The beast,
'Come out! Come out!'-
It costs no inward struggle not to go,
Ah, no!
I count our strength,
Two and a child,
Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length

Taken from "Storm Fear" by
Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Phase Two of the Garden Boardwalk

Garden BoardwalkThe Friends need your help! Phase One of the Garden's Boardwalk was dedicated in 2015 and has won three landscape architecture awards. Phase One only covered a portion of the wetland area that needs a firm boardwalk surface.

Your donation can help us continue the boardwalk further into the wetland.

All funds The Friends raise will go toward the construction of Phase Two of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see wetland plants and visualize where Phase II will complete this beautiful and functional walkway over the entire Wetland.

Please consider making a donation to this critical Garden project. Right now we have a matching grant so your donation will do double duty!

Details on the boardwalk, and how to donate at this link.