When our favorite wildlife refuge advertised their intention to plant a butterfly garden I thought it would be a “nice” addition to the property. I never envisioned how glorious it would be or how much I would look forward to seeing it each time we visit Hagerman. And I didn’t think it would inspire me to plant more butterfly-friendly flowers in my own little garden.
The most impressive thing about the garden is how quickly many of the plants have grown and spread to create a natural looking habitat. Most of us strive for a much more “civilized” garden, but nature favors a little chaos.
The beauty of the flowers and the activities of the many insects that frequent the garden certainly provide a reason to visit the little plot of land. However, with the constant flooding of the main roads through the refuge, the butterfly garden has become an additional draw for tourists. I realize that birders and gardeners don’t necessarily fall into the same hobby category, but they usually share an interest in most aspects of nature. So while some avid birders might leave the refuge once they see the closed roads, others will pause for a stroll through the butterfly garden.
I applaud the administrators, contributors, and volunteers who made this project a reality. It has been a blessing and inspiration to me, and a gift to the butterflies and their friends. If you live close enough I would encourage you to visit soon. You can check the Friends of Hagerman website for road conditions. There is also a page about the garden.