Garden Office in Winter

History of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Winter 1921/1922

This winter Eloise Butler traveled to the East Coast to visit her relatives, as had been her custom since she retired from teaching in 1911. Her residence was at 20 Murray Hill Rd, Malden, Mass. While there she usually sourced some plants from east coast nurseries but that did not happen in 1922.

In late March she returned to her rented quarters at the residence of John and Susan Babcock at 227 Xerxes Ave. from where she could walk to the Garden.

Spring 1922

Eloise Butler’s first Garden Log note of the season was on April 1st when she wrote:

Season unusually late. Large patches of snow and ice in the garden. Hazel and alder not tasseled out. Skunk Cabbage in evidence. Trillium nivale in bud.

ON April 11 she noted a flock of wild geese flew over the garden and on 23 April “White throated sparrows arrived, also woodcock. Hepaticas and bloodroot particularly fine.”

Her first planting of the season was on April 26. From Jefferson Highway near Champlin she got six clumps of Pasque flower and other plants.

She added six new species to the Garden this spring: Chinquapin Oak, Kidney-leaved White Violet, Marsh Blue Violet, Plains Prickly Pear, Sand Violet, and Tufted Bullrush. Details below the Autumn Section.

Summer 1922

Garden office in 1935
Above: The Garden office showing the pergola and trellis parts of which were added in 1922. This view from 1935. There is more trellis on the back as seen at the top of the page. Photo from the Martha Crone Collection.

On June 1st a hive of Italian bees was installed in the Garden and on August 26 they were stolen. June 8th saw the construction of a trellis and pergola on the garden office. This was the first of several exterior additions that would be added over the years.

On June 14 she found a full grown Glossy Buckthorn, Rhamnus frangula (now Frangula alnus) an invasive species. She noted “Probably introduced on May 16, 1913 from Kelsey’s Nurseries in place of Rhamnus alnifolia [Alderleaf Buckthorn].”

On July 1 she wrote “Noted Virginia rail and three downy black young probing for worms in the brook shallows. They were like hen and chicks together.”

On 5 July - “Set free a young sparrow hawk in the garden. It was caught in Mr. Babcock’s yard a fortnight ago and placed in a canary cage. It was fed on meat. It became quite tame and would perch on one’s finger like a parrot.”

In the summer months she obtained 4 new species for the Garden: Burnweed, Sweet Clover, Wavy-leaf Thistle and Virginia Groundcherry. Details below.

Autumn 1922

In the fall months Eloise obtained 6 new species for the Garden, all detail below: Common Hops, Cross-leaved Milkwort, Frost Grape, Lizard’s tail, Northern Dewberry, Velvet leaf.

Her last log entry was planting from the Quaking bog 4 plants of Glyceria canadensis, Rattlesnake Mannagrass on October 20.

During the year she also recorded planting a number of other species previously in the Garden, most from local sources.

When the Garden closed and the office locked up she departed for the East Coast to visit her sister Cora Pease as she has done every winter since 1911.

Weather in 1922 was not too unusual. Although spring started late, precipitation was close to average until early winter. There was a 4 inch snowfall in mid-October and very little snow thereafter until early January.

New 1922 Plants

Eloise brought into the Garden a number of plants that are not listed today on the Garden census. Many of these were native to Minnesota and a few were not. Here is a listing of most of those plants introduced this year to the Garden for the first time - the common and botanical names listed first are names she used followed by other common names for the same plant and the newer botanical classifications, if any; then follows her source for the material. 1922 is the first year the following list of plants occur in her log. "Native" indicates the plant is considered native to Minnesota (here at European Settlement time) or if introduced, long established. "Non-native" indicates it is not known to exist in Minnesota in the wild. "Introduced" means not native to North America. "Extant" indicates the plant is present in the Garden today. Botanical classification: Over the years Botanists have reclassified many plants from the classifications in use at the time Eloise Butler wrote her Garden Log or when Martha Crone prepared her census. I have retained the nomenclature that Eloise Butler or Martha Crone used and then provided the more current classification as used by the major listings in use today, particularly Flora of North America and the University of Minnesota's Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Minnesota.

Spring 1922

Summer 1922

Chinquapin Oak tree
Chinquapin Oak, Quercus muehlenbergii New spring planting. Photo ©G D Bebeau.

Autumn 1922

Kidney leaf violet
Kidney-leaved Violet, Viola renifolia. New spring planting. Photo ©Merle R. Black, Wisconsin Flora.
Hooked Spur Violet
Hooked Spur Violet, Viola adunca var. adunca. New spring planting. Photo ©Emmett J. Judziewicz, Wisconsin Flora.
Virginia Groundcherry, Physalis virginiana. New summer planting. Photo ©Merle R. Black, Wisconsin Flora
Burnweed, Erechtites heiracifolia. New summer planting. Photo ©G D Bebeau
Sweet Clover
Sweet Clover, Melilotus officinalis. New summer planting. Photo ©G D Bebeau
Common Hops
Common Hops, Humulus lupulus. New autumn planting. Photo ©G D Bebeau
Northern Dewberry
Northern Dewbery, Rubus flagellaris. New autumn planting. Photo ©G D Bebeau

Photo top of page: The Garden Office from the back side, showing parts of the pergola and trellis constructed this year. Photo from a Kodachrome taken by Martha Crone on April 14, 1949. Kodachromes given to Friends of the Wild Flower Garden by Martha Crone Estate.

To History of: Previous Year ----------- Subsequent Year

Year chart - all years

Garden History Archive

Printable PDF file of this page.

Links to related pages:
- Abbreviated Life of Eloise Butler

- Martha Crone - 2nd Garden Curator

- Ken Avery - 3rd Curator and Gardener

- Cary George - 4th Gardener

- Our Native Plant Reserve - Short document on the origins of the Garden.

- Eloise Butler's writings, a selection of essays written by Eloise Butler on the early Garden years.

- Geography of the Garden- an illustrated tour


Garden Log - Native Plant Reserve, Glenwood Park, Minneapolis, MN by Eloise Butler.

Martha Crone's Garden Log and her 1951 Census of plants in the Garden.

Various papers and correspondence of Eloise Butler in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Historical Climatology of Minneapolis-St. Paul Area by Charles Fisk.

Friends Home Page

©2017 Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc. Photos as credited and are used with permission for educational purposes, for which the Friends thank them and the organization providing the photos. Text and research by Gary Bebeau. "https://www.friendsofthe" - 031222