Leila Case: A butterfly garden for mom

Published 11:18 am Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and you’ll want to honor your own mom. So why not buy a garden plant to give her or to plant in her memory in your garden or take to the cemetery? A plant that attracts pollinators like butterflies, especially the monarch or swallowtail, or bees, birds, hummingbirds, and other insects that flit from flower to flower in their crucial role in flowering plant reproduction.

There are many native plants available now in local plant nurseries that are host plants for pollinators. Among these are several varieties of milk weed, fennel, parsley, coreopsis, coneflower, marigolds, lantana, phlox, asters, verbena, black-eyed Susan, tuberosa, butterfly bush, and scores of others.

We have a few host plants in our backyard and I was lucky enough to buy a few more at the native plant sale during the third annual Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Spring Symposium in Plains last week. I even scored a Rosalynn Carter native azalea — there were a limited number — developed from seed by Ernest Koone at his Lazy K Nursery in Pine Mountain.

The symposium had the perfect mix that resulted in a huge success. A crowd of 168 garden lovers filled the Plains Community Center. I’m so glad I arrived early to get a front-row seat because the center quickly filled to capacity. The program was delightful, interesting, and educational.

Annette Wise, president and co-founder of the Trail, and Willie Maxwell, representing the Garden Club of Georgia, welcomed everyone. First lady Rosalynn Carter, trail co-founder, spoke briefly about her own butterfly garden located in a sloping area across the street from the home she shares with her husband on Woodland Way. Annette, at the request of Mrs. Carter, helped her develop the butterfly garden in 2013, that subsequently led to what is now known as the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail. From that point to today the butterfly trail has grown to more than 800 registered butterfly gardens in the U.S., Japan, and Canada. There are about 10 public butterfly gardens registered on the trail in Plains and scores of private ones.

The featured speaker, Erica Glasener of Atlanta, an accomplished horticulturist and author of several gardening books, has had a remarkable career. Through the years, she has brought people and plants together on visits to our living rooms by way of her television program. She gave an interesting and educational program on designing a garden for year-round enjoyment, and creating a haven for pollinators — that’s what I’m trying to achieve.

Other highpoints were the fun silent auction where I walked away the winner of the unique metal container garden created by the Villager Gardeners of Plains that is pretty and perfect at my back door. I enjoyed the delicious brunch prepared and served by Dogwood Garden Club members, dining alfresco on a table on the patio with longtime friend Becky Bassett of Columbus, a master gardener, and her master gardener friends from Columbus: Molly Day, Pat Barfield, Theresa Burkett and Beverly Kinner. Others I knew there were Peggy Carson, Crystal Willis, Julia Snipes, Imogene Marchant, Jeannie Stanfield, Gloria Johnson, Norman Race and Susan Beger, Lee Ann Smith, Drenda Stembridge, Janice Cliett, Faye Frazier, Lonnie Wise, Phil and Myra Hardy, Ginger Starlin, Diane Sumner, Bruce Capps, Joyce Carreker, Lisa Simpson, and Kerri Post.

Now to get my plants in the ground to bloom where they’re planted and attract beautiful butterflies. I want to register my butterfly garden on the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail and you can, too. No cost. You must agree to provide nectar and host plants that are common in your area (a few are named above) that attract butterflies and other pollinators. For additional information go online at www.rosalynncarterbutterflytrail.org

The winner of the Kentucky Derby race in Louisville last Saturday didn’t win — seems a bit horsey to me — but the fifth annual Books for Sumter Children’s Derby party hosted by Donnie and Sylvia Roland at their home in South Forty was a real winner.

Highlight was viewing the race on big-screen TV while sipping mint juleps from authentic julep cups, munching on a wide array of hors d’oeuvres and delicious desserts, and enjoying the bluegrass sounds of the Plucktones. Ladies wore their fanciest Kentucky Derby hats and many men were donned in seersucker suits. The money raised from the party goes to buy one book a month for all Sumter County children from birth to age 5 — the mission of Books for Sumter Children.

Books for Sumter board members attending were Candy Riccardi (chair) and (Dr. Lou Riccardi), Sylvia and (Donnie) Roland, Steve and Jeannie Stanfield, Kathryn and (Brent Moore), Sybil and (Don Smith),    Karen Holloway and (Joe Daniel), Michelle and (Dr. Ben Andrews), Anne Isbell, Marilynn Coley, Gladys Hopkins, Kim and (Charles) Christmas; and guests besides board members attending were Scott and Carroll Wiggins, Mark and Anne Barrett, Ronnie Greer, Dr. Jim and Nancy Herron, Bob and Jenny Lashley, Greg and Willie Maxwell, Bill and Meda Krenson, Wes and Jean Wheeler,  Jody and Judy Wade, Russell and Angie Thomas, Calvin and Ginger Starlin, David and Angela Calhoun, Dr. Frank and Robin Lowrey, Norman Race and Susan Beger, Bill and Meda Krenson, and Janet Siders, among others.


Leila Sisson Case lives in A