Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Website Archive

History of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

In the Archive pages you will find links to all the content on the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden web site. Unlike the main pages, links here are arranged by topic. These topics include links to articles previously published in the Friend's newsletter - The Fringed Gentian™.

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Original date of published articles is given in brackets

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Eloise Butler

Eloise Butler's Writings; books

History / Events / Documents

People and Garden Curators

Then and Now - Historical Comparisons.

Eloise Butler

Butler, Eloise – Brief history with photos

80th Birthday – Photos taken on Eloise Butlers 80th Birthday - 1931

100th anniversary Birthday Bash. – A summary of events on the 100th birthday anniversary of Eloise Butler - 2007

100th anniversary-100 years of Vision and Counting – Curator Susan Wilkins reflects on the legacy of Eloise Butler (2008)

Background on The Wild Gardener - Details on how Martha Hellander's book on Eloise Butler, was created with some funding help from The Friends.

Book - The Eloise Butler Years. A year by year account of the goings on in the Garden during Eloise Butler's tenure as Curator. This is an arrangement of the individual history years of 1907 through 1933. 298 pages. More details at this link. 2018

Book - Selected Writing of Eloise Butler. All 24 of the 1911 newspaper columns and the 32 essays about the Wild Botanic Garden that are individually listed below. PDF downloadable format. Details at link.

Eloise Butler and Claude Monet – A look at some common themes between these two in the use of plants.

Last Rites Ceremony – Garden ceremony of May 5, 1933.

Memorial Plaque – Photo and description of her Garden Memorial

Notice of Death – Letter of Park Superintendent Theodore Wirth (1933)

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Eloise Butler's Writings

Essays from Annals of the Wild Life Reserve and other works.

1913 National Florist Convention – Article published Aug. 17, 1913 in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune about her exhibit at the annual meeting of the American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists

Animal, Bird, and Insect life in the Wild Garden – Overview of what she sees - 1914

An Autobiographical Sketch – Eloise Butler writes about her early years prior to the Garden being formed - 1911

Asters in the Wild Garden – A summary of all the asters indigenous and introduced, in the Garden during 1914. Written June 1915.

Attractiveness of vegetables and common weeds- 1911 – Commentary of how the ordinary can be wonderful.

Attractiveness of vegetables and common weeds - 1931. Second installment, mentioning her likes and dislikes.

Birdbath acquisition – New Birdbath and seeing a woodcock - June 1917

Bulletin of the MN Academy of Science – Published article reviewing types of plants in the Garden - 1911

Burning Hat – Her hat catches fire in the Garden - 1911

Children's Forage Plants in the Wild Garden – Plants and fruits that children liked to eat in her era. Dated 1915.

Cultivation of Native Plants - October 1912

Early History of the Garden - 1926

Effective Coloring in the Wild Garden that is not due to Flowers – Natural color found on leaves, fruits, bark and buds. Dated Dec. 1915.

Experiences in Collecting –  – In Quest of the Walking Fern - 1909

Experiences in Collecting – – Finding the White Cypripedium - May 1914

Experiences in Collecting – – Collecting Fireweed and Squirrel Corn - 1911

Experiences in Collecting –  – The contrariness of certain plants - May 1916

Experiences in Collecting –  – Searching for the Fragrant Fern - 1916

Ferns in the Wild Garden – A description of the indigenous ferns and ferns she introduced. Dated June 1915

Ferns in the Wild Garden – An updated version of the 1915 article. Dated Sept. 1919.

Fragrance of the Wild Garden – Agreeable and disagreeable odors of wild plants. Dated Feb. 1915

Garden operation principles. Short notes on care of the Garden. 1920.

Letter to Theodore Wirth 1914 – About the joys and pleasure of the Garden - 1914

Liverworts, Lichens, Mosses, and Evergreen ferns in the Wild Garden – About these plants in the Garden - 1914

Mallard Pool 1932 –  – The construction and plan for the large pool. (Historical details of this pool are in the Mallard Pool PDF listed in the documents section)

March 1915 – Notable Features of my Wild Garden - about spring plants and the features of the Garden.

Occult Experiences of a Wild Gardener – Eloise relates how a medium told her that she has two ghostly botanist friends that want her to find the plant she is looking for. (no date)

Old Andrew – A recluse lived near the Garden and Eloise would hear him chopping wood after he died. (no date)

Shrubs in the Garden, 1926. A review of the population.

Spring Exhibits in the Native Plant Reserve - 1928. A review of the Spring season of 1928 - for the Agassiz Association

The Plateau, 1926. Eloise describes the site of the Garden office.

Trees - Identification points. – Discussion of the method for identifying trees by shape, bud and bark. 1914

Trees in the Wild Garden - 1926. A review of what was there.

Wild Garden in 1925 - A short review of the Garden season - for the Agassiz Association

Wild Garden in 1930 - A review of the 1930 season - for the Agassiz Association

Columns published in the Sunday Minneapolis Tribune in 1911, the only year she wrote a complete seasonal series.

April 16, 1911 – –  Pasque Flowers at Easter Time Proclaim Yearly Spring Miracle.

April 30, 1911 – –  Anemones, Hepaticas and Buttercups Prominent in Crowfoot Family Here

May 7, 1911 – –  Bloodroots, Marsh Marigolds, Adder’s Tongues and Dutchman’s Breeches Among Spring Blooms that Delight Eye and Heart

May 14, 1911 – –  Plum Blossoms, Skunk Cabbage, and Modest Jack-in-the-Pulpit among May Arrivals That Please Lover of Life in the Woods.

May 21, 1911 – –  Beautiful Large-flowered Trilliums Grace Minnetonka Wood in May; Violets, Forest, Hillside and Prairie Varieties Flourish Near Minneapolis.

May 28, 1911 – –  Geum, Early Meadow Rue, Lousewort, Phlox, and Hoary Puccoon Are Described as Wild Beauties in Miss Butler’s Weekly Article.

June 4, 1911 – –  Hawthorn of World Fame through Poetry and Prose of England, Virginian Waterleaf, White Lily and Geranium Featured in June

June 11, 1911 – – Wild Roses Know When it is June, According to Miss Butler, Who Describes Blossoms that Delight the Rambler Out-of-Doors.

June 18, 1911 – –  Painted Cup Notable among Wild Flowers Found near Minneapolis; Bog-trotter’s Zeal Repaid by Orchids and Other Swamp Blossoms

July 2, 1911 – – Blue Flag, Native Minnesota Iris, Classed as Richest of Lilies; Early Meadow Rue and Larkspur Treated by Miss Butler

July 9, 1911 – – Milkweed Flowers Much in evidence during July, Harebells, Ox-Eyes, and Water Lilies Also Bloom in Abundance.

July 16, 1911 – – Lily Declared Crowning Wild Flower near Minneapolis in July; Miss Butler Describes, Also, the Blossoms That Kept it Company.

July 23, 1911 – Mint, Abundant in Minnesota, Delights the Senses; Miss Butler Tells of Wild Flowers in Glenwood Park Garden.

July 30, 1911 – Flowering Spurge Graces Roadside and Prairie in Late summer; Varieties of Yellow Blooms Classed as “Sunflowers” Confusing.

August 6, 1911 – Tramp Plants, Migrants from Foreign Lands, Thrive in Minnesota; They Often Preempt Ground, Crowding Out Native Citizens of Soil.

August 13, 1911 – Common Plantain Is Compared with the Alisma Plantago, Otherwise Known as the Water Variety

August 20, 1911 – Wild Balsam Occupies Low Places in Wild Gardens; Leaves Shine Like Silver When Put in the Water.

August 27, 1911 – Prickly Armor Furnishes Protection for the Thistle; Caterpillars Crawl by and Browsing Horses Shun Plant.

September 3, 1911 – – Virgin Minnesota Prairie in Full Bloom Surpasses Flora of Tropics; Earth’s Tapestry Shows a Riot of Color before Autumnal Frosts.

September 10, 1911 – – Fringed Gentian, Termed Loveliest of Blue Flowers, Now in Bloom; Asters and Goldenrod Indicate Autumn Has Reached Minnesota.

September 17, 1911 – – Acrid Taste Gives Name to the Smart Weed; Miss Butler Describes Wild Grasses in the Park.

September 24, 1911 – – Late Blooming Flowers Dot Meadows with White, Blue and Gold; Asters, Gentians, Lobelias, and Sunflowers Greet Field Lovers.

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History / Events / Documents

Agassiz Association, the Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter, the Asa Gray Bulletin. (2020)

April Weather & Opening Day – Quotes from the Garden log's of the first 50 years and more recent times about the weather on April 1st. Early spring is not the norm. (2018)

Aquatic Pools in the Garden – History of open water in the Garden.

Bird Feeding Station at the Garden - historical notes and photos including notes on Lulu May Aler. (2020)

Birdbath in the Prairie – Origin of the granite birdbath on the central hill - Upland Garden (2010)

Birding at Eloise Butler: A review of why the Garden makes a great Bird Sanctuary and other current birding articles; Curator's birding notes from the first 70 years of the Garden. (2018)

Bloodroots - Double-flowered – Brief illustrated notes about the double-flowered Bloodroot that was in the Garden until the early 2000's.

Bloom Dates of plants (pdf) – Early and late bloom dates for 25 spring flowers, up through 1977, collected and averaged by former gardener Ken Avery.

Boardwalk Project – Photos and history of planning, construction, dedication and awards.

Crone, Martha - Annual Reports. – Summaries of her reports to the Minneapolis Parks Superintendent.

Crone, Martha - notes on birds during her tenure as Curator, 1933-1958.

Crone, Martha - Early Spring in the Wild Flower Garden – Reflections of Martha Crone, second Garden Curator, first editor of The Fringed Gentian™ and founding member of The Friends of The Wild Flower Garden. (1950s)

Fern Glen Development, 1955-1961 (2016)

Friend's Garden Projects-recent – Details of Current Project Plans and those most recently completed.

Friend's Garden Projects-past – Illustrated summary of past projects funded by the Friends.

Garden Fence – How the Garden got fenced in - 1924 and fencing in later years.

Garden History – Short history of the Garden and the Curator/Gardeners - a document of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, created as an appendix to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary Management Plan 2010-2015. (pdf file)

Garden History by Year – A year chart of links to the history of the Eloise Butler Wild Flower Garden and of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Garden Name - variations over time. (pdf file)

Garden Origins – Archive paper from Minneapolis Park Board, written after 1929, published 1933.

Garden Visitors Shelter – Current building and history.

Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter, Agassiz Association, Asa Gray Bulletin. (2020)

Great Medicine Spring – A history of the attempt to improve water flow and quality.

Great Medicine Spring and other springs - details – first hand accounts of spring activity in and near the Garden, 1950 - 1990.

Hay, George Upham - An earlier Wild Botanic Garden. Hay's garden at Ingleside, New Brunswick; 8 years before the garden in Minneapolis. (2020)

Hepatica Hill – History of the Hepatica in the Garden and the restoration of Hepatica Hill.

Kids in the Garden – Two illustrated articles on kids groups visiting the Garden and what the activities were.

Mallard Pool - Background of a former Garden feature, Eloise Butler's writing about it, the area today. PDF File. (2018)

Memorials in the Garden. – Photo pages of the various memorials and dedications within the Garden.

Memorials in the Martha Crone Shelter – Photos and text on the background of Shelter memorials

Monarch – The ancient White Oak that dominated Eloise Butler's Garden.

Old Curator's Office – The old "office" that was replaced by the Martha Crone Visitor Shelter.

Old Curator's Office Sketch – Color drawing by Clinton Odell circa 1950

Orchids in the Garden - a review of the species present today and a look at 36 historical species.

Past History by Year – A year chart of links to the history of the Eloise Butler Wild Flower Garden and of The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Prairie Burn 2014 – Before and after photos of a typical prairie burn. (2014)

Restoration in Upland Garden – A photo review of a five year restoration project in a section of the Upland Garden - 2009

Showy Lady's-slipper Rescues – Staff from the MN Landscape Arboretum and the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden obtain rescued plants from up north in 2012 and in 2005 with the Minnesota Dept of Transportation.

Springs in and near the Garden – first hand accounts of natural spring activity 1950 - 1990.

Storm Damage June 2010 – Photos of the thunderstorm damage in the Garden on June 25, 2010

Storm Damage May 2011 – Photos of the tornado damage in and near the Garden on May 22, 2011

Upland Garden Development – History of how the upland was added to the Garden

Upland Garden 1993 Land Addition – Friends member Elaine Christenson writes on the 1993 land addition to the Upland Prairie Garden. (Winter 1994)

Visitors Shelter – Current building and history.

Wetland in the Woodland Garden – History, environment and the plant community of the wetland. (2010)

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Garden Curators and Influential People

Aler, Lulu May - and the bird feeding station in Wirth Park and at the Garden. (2020)

Avery, Ken – The Garden's third caretaker; Creation of the Ken Avery Birding Terrace

Butler, Eloise – The Garden's first curator. Brief history with photos.

Cram, Gertrude S. – Friend of Eloise Butler and Martha Crone and provider of plants (2010)

Crone, Martha – Abbreviated history of the Garden's second Curator, Founding member of the Friends, first Friends' Secretary and First editor of The Fringed Gentian™. See section above for full history file.

Crone, Martha and the Wild Flower Garden: This Satisfying Pursuit - A book-length sketch of the Garden's second curator. Downloadable PDF file. Link takes you to more info and download page.(2018)

Crone, Martha - The Native Plant Reserve in Glenwood Park - 1933-1958. A companion volume to the above book which contains only a summary of each of these years, but covers all the other aspects of her career. Downloadable PDF file. Link takes you to more info and download page. (2018)

George, Cary – The Garden's fourth caretaker - notes and experiences (2010)

Odell, Clinton – Student of Eloise Butler and a benefactor of the Garden (2002)

Odell-Beim, Moana – Clinton Odell's daughter recollects her early days in the Garden (2002)

Wilkins, Susan – A profile of the current Garden Curator.

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Then and Now

Then and Now – Photo listing of Garden scenes -past and present - links to all detailed sections below.

- Then and Now – Bassett's Creek near the Garden - 1908 to present.

- Then and Now – East Woodland Path to the Shelter - 1952 to the present.

- Then and Now – Hepatica Hill - Fifty years apart

- Then and Now – Open Water Pools in the Wetland - 1907 to the present.

- Then and Now – Orchids in the Garden - 36 historical species and 2 today.

- Then and Now – Trees and Paths in the Wetland - 1948 to the present.

- Then and Now – The Entrance to the Upland Garden - 1948 to the present.

- Then and Now – The Old Cabin Office and the Newer Visitors Shelter - 100 years of history.

- Then and Now – The old and new office - Winter Views- 8 decades apart

- Then and Now – Upland Hillside Early Plantings - 1950 to the present.

- Then and Now – Upland Central Hillside - 1948 to the present.

- Then and Now – Wetland bridges and dams - 100 years of changes.

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