Among the Monarchs

Posted on October 8, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Willa Gelber named this Monarch Butterfly 'Luna' before setting it  free in the garden.
Willa Gelber named this Monarch Butterfly ‘Luna’ before setting it free in the garden.

There is in Sonoma a colorful garden of wildflowers and flowering plants that shows just how beautiful a haven for butterflies and bees can be.

The inspiration for the project has been to provide a habitat for Monarch Butterflies, which are on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss.

The garden is located behind the First Congregational Church, Sonoma, at 252 West Spain Street.  It’s a collaboration between the Earth Care Committee at the Congregational Church, the General Vallejo Home State Historic Park, and Valley of the Moon Garden Club, a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc.

The goal: inspire others to make their own bee and butterfly-friendly gardens, however small, to attract pollinators throughout the entire Sonoma Valley.

The three groups worked together to select and clear land, add planting mix, install drip irrigation, sow seeds, grow native Narrow Leaf Milkweed and pollinator plants for the habitat, and mulch it all.  A temporary deer fence will be replaced with permanent fencing this fall.

The garden’s creators along with other community members have fostered and released over 30 Monarch Butterflies into the garden which they raised from eggs to caterpillars. The Monarchs will soon be migrating south to warmer climates, where their relatives came from several generations ago.

Free tours of the pollinator garden are held on Sundays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. until October 30.

Gardeners will be present to assist with plant information and ways people can create a pollinator garden of their own.

For questions, call 707.935.8986.

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