Menard, Texas, is a small town with concerned citizens. One couple has taken on the project of educating children about gardening through the Junior Master Gardener program. They have classes for students from kindergarten through junior high.
This couple also maintains the citys Marjorie Russel Education memorial garden.
Following a relatively wet year, the garden has grown tremendously. My husband and I were there in early spring this year to help other volunteers do clean-up to get ready for the new season.
On this visit with the Master Gardener students who were finishing their course for certification, the garden was alive with butterflies. Bluemist Flowers (Conoclinium coelestinum) is a must have plant for central Texans to attract butterflies. I admit that I’m prejudged about this plant because it has been so successful in my own yard.
A Viceroy butterfly busy feeding. In front of the Blue Mist Flower is Artemisia, another wonderful plant.
Monarch butterflies absolutely must have milkweed plants to survive. This tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is one of the showier milkweeds that is a beauty in the garden. Unfortunately, mine freeze each year and don’t return.
On the right are rose hips from spent roses.
Lots of Zinnas are scattered throughout the garden. Anyone who says they can’t afford plants should consider buying cheap zinna seeds. The flowers reseed, so they keep on giving.
Behind the zinnas is Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) which adds another dimension of form and texture to the garden.
The layers of plants, even with their intertwining, appeal to me. Guess I just like a jungle look. Not for everyone; I understand.
Not only do the Junior Master Gardeners meet here and plant their own plots, anyone in the community can rent one of these plots for $10 to $30, depending on what they can afford. The city provides the water, and the couple in charge do the watering. What a deal.
Another popular plant that appeals to pollinators is Salvia Greggii. Not sure what kind of butterfly this is.
I think this is a Black Swallowtail.
This Salvia Greggii is called Lipstick. The grower that came up with this name had quite an imagination.
Bluemist Flower usually has lots of dead blossoms. Doesn’t seem to bother the butterflies.
There are several fruit trees in the garden, including this Fig. Many of the plants and trees have been donated.
Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) is a hardy Texas native with small flowers.
I admire people who give of themselves to their communities.
“Trump and Clinton are like divorced parents fighting over custody of us. And we just wanna live with Grandma.” unknown