Garden Curator's Notes

As published in The Fringed Gentian™.

by Susan Wilkins

Susan Wilkins' comments appear courtesy of:


Summer 2021

Volume 69, No. 2

Late summer is upon us and many sun-loving plants of the Wildflower Garden are in full bloom. The upland garden is a verdant meadow of bee balm, joe pye weed, culver’s root, and coneflower to name just a few of the dozens of species in bloom. The wetland garden is graced by tufts of pink meadowsweet and magenta colored swamp milkweed. Along the boardwalk, swaths of purple-stemmed and flat-topped asters are in bud and soon will be flowering. Even with the heat and long days, summer progresses so quickly and here we are, already looking at the late summer blossoms about to start.

Another great way to keep in touch with the Garden and what’s happening there is to keep in touch with the Garden’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

This past spring was delightful as well, with mild weather and just enough rain to allow for many of the woodland wildflower species to bloom for weeks on end. In many years, due to spikes of higher spring temperatures, strong winds, or extended dry spells, many species only bloom for days. The prolonged bloom times for many species allowed for more overlap of blooming plants and the layered display of woodland wildflowers for several weeks was truly synchronistic and a feast for the eyes and spirit.

Starting the week of July 12, two popular Garden programs were reintroduced with great joy, Garden Story Time and Early Birders. With two weeks of programming underway and a full group of participants for each offering, it’s been wonderful for staff to be able to offer a limited number of programs in a thoughtful and safe manner to a very receptive audience. Plans are underway to bring a few more program offerings into the fold this autumn. Updates will be posted on the Garden’s webpage and social media accounts.

Early birding announcement
Graphic courtesy Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
new welcome sign at parking lot
The new Garden parking lot welcome sign in 15 languages. Photo by Colin Bartol.

You can stay connected to Garden highlights and happenings by visiting the Garden’s Facebook and Instagram pages @EBWGMpls And, if you can, be sure to stop out for a visit soon to be awed by the abundance and beauty of the Garden this summer.


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Storytime graphic for Summer programs
Graphic courtesy Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

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Spring 2021

Volume 69, No. 1

Greetings and happy spring!

We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary this spring. The Garden will operate under similar parameters as last season, with one-way trails, staggered entry times and social distancing requirements. We received a significant amount of positive feedback from Garden visitors in 2020, noting that the systems in place provided for a comfortable and safe visitor experience. We will continue to be guided by State of Minnesota and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board practices and procedures related to the pandemic at the Garden throughout the season. To stay up to date with Garden hours, updates and information please visit frequently throughout the season.

Another great way to keep in touch with the Garden and what’s happening there is to keep in touch with the Garden’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

American Plum
A fragrant harbinger of warmer days, the wild plum graces the Upland Garden with its delicate blooms. Photo by Bob Ambler.
Mallards making the rounds of the Garden territory on a spring thaw day. Photo by Bob Ambler.
Large-flowered bellwort
Large-flowered Bellwort, a spring perennial, peeks from beneath its leaves. Photo by Bob Ambler.

Garden Facebook and Instagram pages.

Opportunistic Hepatica make the most of warmer days, even with snow still on the ground. Photo by Bob Ambler.

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