Tomorrow marks the Manasota BUDS 10th Annual Buddy Walk, a charity and event I’ve supported since their inception. Like anyone else, I have my reasons to support this particular cause; their names are Ella and Stacy. Ella was born with Down syndrome, and Stacy is her amazing mom and one of the founders of Manasota BUDS. They are also my niece and sister.
Family is the root of why I never miss a Buddy Walk, but an ancillary and quite selfish reason has emerged over the past two years – Mariposa, my favorite nursery, donates to the silent auction. It’s definitely true when people say there’s no selfless deed. I’ll be circling that silent auction table like a shark tomorrow.
Prior to last year’s Buddy Walk, I had several butterfly plants scattered throughout the garden and even had plenty of butterfly visitors. But then I won the butterfly garden package from Mariposa. Now, I have a real butterfly garden; I just didn’t know the difference. You think you see a lot of butterflies until you start seeing three, four different types daily.
The package included a cassia tree, milkweed, porter weed, button sage, pentas, and passionvine. The combination is pure magic. Sulphur butterflies should have been listed along with the plants as an auction item. There were caterpillars on the tree and butterflies circling within days.
We get pop-ins, like the White Peacock and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and more than just Sulphurs are regulars. The Gulf Fritillary is the Norm of our garden right now, constantly sipping at either the porter weed or button sage.
It’s a small one, but it’s a dream fulfilled. When I started to really get into gardening, the goal quickly became butterflies. I got lucky with a few plants; my Mexican sunflowers attracted tons of Swallowtails, and anyone can plant a milkweed to get Monarchs, but it really just depended on the day if I’d see a butterfly or not…not anymore. Thanks BUDS!
For more information on Manasota BUDS, visit www.manasotabuds.org. To register for the Buddy Walk or to make a donation, click here.