Arline & Ralph Bernstein Monarch & rain Garden
Location: The intersection of North and South Lake Drive
What's Nearby: Miller Park, Miller Bell Tower, and Children's Beach
Located along the border of Miller Park and South Lake Drive, the garden is replete with vibrant orange butterfly weed, one of the showiest members of the genus Asclepias. This genus of plants, more commonly known as milkweed, serves as the sole larval host to the beloved monarch butterfly, and is essential for the completion of the monarch’s life cycle. Monarch caterpillars feast on milkweed, rapidly increasing in size, and, by consuming the toxic leaves, themselves become toxic to predators in both their larval and adult stages. Planted amongst the milkweed is an array of other blooming native perennials like echinacea, veronica, cranesbill, and rudbeckia. Also included is Russian sage, which is neither Russian nor a sage! Native to the steppes and hills of southwestern and central Asia, this subshrub tolerates harsh conditions, is relatively disease free, and helps remediate polluted soil, thereby exhibiting several of the beneficial characteristics of indigenous plants. It’s late season light purple foliage brings color and interest to the garden in August. In every case, the plants in the Bernstein Butterfly Garden possess deep root systems which anchor them firmly in place so that they can filter toxins that would otherwise wash into the lake via rain or melting snow. Furthermore, they provide food for a wide range of pollinators, including butterflies, moths, and our embattled native bees.
The combination of milkweed, nectar plants, eco-wise maintenance practices, and proximity to a water source qualified the Bernstein Butterfly Garden for certification as a monarch waystation with Monarch Watch, a monarch conservation group based at the University of Kansas. The Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club’s Butterflies & Blooms program aids Chautauquans who wish to certify their gardens as monarch waystations. For more information, go to chautauquabtg.org
Historical Context: The Arline and Ralph Bernstein Butterfly Garden was a gift from their daughter Ellen and her husband Mark Fultz.
WHAT'S IN BLOOM?
echinacea, veronica, cranesbill, rudbeckia, Russian sage, milkweed, black eyed Susan,