When Carole invited me to be a part of this community, I took some time to reflect on the common threads between those of us who try to garden sustainably. Love of beautiful plants and a desire to create more butterfly habitat are voted in unanimously among us. Sometimes and naturally there’s different opinions and values, born out of different experiences. Listening to different folks pontificate and trying to express myself about my perspectives on gardening and ethics forces me to evaluate how I like being approached when someone wants to teach me something I may not be aware I need to learn.
I’ve been reading Beautiful Wildlife Garden posts regularly since I found the site in mid-summer, 2011. Recently I’ve been familiarizing myself more with other contributor’s styles, content and backgrounds. I have noticed and appreciated the undeniably safe environment that’s been created here, as everyone is honest about their gardening mistakes. It feels natural to admit mistakes I’ve made and my habitat gardening history’s long learning curve. It also relaxes me, allows me to be receptive to new information that much quicker.
I believe it is that way for everyone I meet. Increasing butterfly habitat by adding host plants is necessary for butterfly preservation. But communicating this sincere desire of mine and need of the butterflies to a friend who lacks information on ecological gardening requires a gentle method and humility.
Here is one action I plan to take this holiday season to quietly encourage my loved ones to create butterfly habitat around them in their personal microclimates:
I have a lettuce box filled to the brim with native plant seeds my friend Dawn Foglia and I collected at her nursery this fall.
These seeds are the building blocks for butterfly habitat, in the mix we have some Asclepias tuberosa (butterflyweed), which is the quintessential Monarch butterfly host plant. I will bag these native plant seeds up and distribute them as stocking stuffers to my family, friends, clients, colleagues and neighbors, with information on winter seed sowing, stratification and butterfly host plant requirements.
Do you have any ideas this holiday season to encourage the people you know to create more butterfly habitat in your ecosystem using the attitudes of generosity and humility?
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