Monarch Butterflies make dinner reservations at Gibbs Gardens Wildflower Meadow
It is essential that monarchs find abundant and nutritious food to fuel their flight and spread, thus ensuring the safety of the species.
“As a child, I was fascinated by butterflies,” Gibbs said. “The children who come to our gardens love to see the monarchs. They are mesmerized as they watch the butterflies soar and land on the flowers.”
Monarch butterflies discover acres of cosmos flowers
This spring, Gibbs began their Wildflower Meadow transformation, removing invasive plantings to make room for five acres of Cosmos and other new varieties that support and encourage pollination. He began by literally sowing millions of cosmos to color the prairies wave after wave with vibrant colors.
“One of the main reasons I planted the cosmos was to attract monarchs to visit Gibbs Gardens in September, October and early November as they migrated to Central mexico and again on their return trip north in March, April and May, ”Gibbs said.
Thousands of monarchs take advantage of their staging area at Gibbs Gardens, drawn by the vibrant blossoms of the cosmos and enriched by their precious nectar stores. Cosmos, a large annual with silky 3-5 inch daisy-like flowers, is native to Mexico. Cosmos flowers (cosmos bipinnatus and cosmos sulphurous) have yellow centers with a rainbow of petal colors including white, various shades of pink, purple, rose, lavender, and purple.
“Millions of blooming cosmos look like colorful rivers flowing through the sloping hills of Wildflower Meadow and across the valley,” he added. “With spring and their flight home, Gibbs Gardens will be ready to attract and feed them again with fields of brilliant poppies, larks feet, milkweed and more goldenrods.”
Gibbs’ great respect for the balance of nature is nothing new. In 2015, with growing concern about the death and / or disappearance of the bees, he contacted a local bee farm and arranged for beehives to be established in the safe and clean environment of Gibbs Gardens.
“Honey bees are in a fragile state in nature, so the hives here are protected from bears and other wildlife by heavy fences,” he said.
Today there are seven beehives – with 20,000 to 80,000 bees per hive – within the grounds of the gardens but away from areas where visitors walk. Italian bees, the majority of those in the gardens, are more docile and are located in the general area beyond the wildflower meadow with signage to alert visitors who may be wandering this area.
Honored for excellence like
Recognized as one of the Thirteen Best Botanical Gardens in America and recently named the Best Garden in Georgia per the Atlanta Journal, Gibbs Gardens always has something new in bloom. The five signature gardens and the 21 seasonal collections gardens offer unique and continuous delights for garden lovers of all interests. To find out more about Gibbs Gardens, visit gibbsgardens.com.
CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA:
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[email protected] 770-712-1090
SOURCE Gibbs Gardens