Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is now blooming at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. This stunning native plant is rare across its range due to the aggressive eradication of its relative, Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca). Milkweeds are the only larval host for Monarch butterflies. Planting Swamp Milkweed in your garden is a great way to attract butterflies while supporting biodiversity.
The Botanical Gardens are on the Campus of Acadia University and are free to the public daily from dawn to dusk.
Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens
Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
Butterflies, Bees and Milkweed
Butterflies and bees are big fans of the Milkweed, and as it turns out, the Wolfville Memorial Library is a big fan of bees and butterflies. This summer, with the generous support of the TD Environment Fund, the Wolfville Memorial Library was able to successfully create and present The Pollinator Project, a three-month program of art and science based activities for children aged 3-12 focusing on the importance of pollinators and their habitats, ultimately resulting in a new pollinator-friendly garden adjacent to the library.
Beginning with a garden design workshop and planting session in May, the community created a pollinator-friendly garden featuring Meadowsweet, Climbing Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. Butterflies were raised from caterpillars to Painted Ladies at the check-out desk and released outside. The weekly art drop-in sessions for children aged 7-12 have focused on bees and butterflies. Local kids happily created “stained glass” butterfly art, drew close-ups of flowers and created a honeycomb art mural. Perry Brandt, a local bee-keeper, stopped by for a presentation about the necessity of bee pollination and protection of our bees. He also brought along a demonstration beehive to display.
The grant also funded Annapolis Valley Regional Library purchases of new books and videos about pollination, bees, butterflies and pollinators to add to the library collection. Still to come on Tuesday, July 29 at 10am is the Beetime Story time for children aged 3 to 5 accompanied by a caregiver, one more Drop-In Art Session on Thursday, July 31 and in August the Library Art Gallery will feature Bee related art.
Photo Credit Melanie Priesnitz, Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens.