Tag Archives: Butterfly Garden

Hooray for Pathways for Children’s Brand Spanking New Butterfly Garden!

Pathways for Children we ©Kim Smith 2014HOLY CANNOLI and WOW–look how fantastically the Pathway’s Staff is taking care of their brand new one-month old butterfly garden–every plant looks well-loved!!!

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden BEFORE ©Kim Smith 2014 copySpring 2014 Before Photo

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden  After ©Kim Smith 2014.

Same View After Photo ~  July 18, 2014

Elizabeth's Toad ©Kim Smith

Toads Welcome!

My sincerest thanks to Caroline Haines for her vision to create a butterfly garden for the children at Pathways. 

Thank you to the many donors who have made the butterfly gardens at Pathways possible. 

Thank you to the Manchester Garden Club for their tremendous assisitance in planting the garden.

Thank you to the volunteers from Liberty Mutual for tearing out the old plantings.

And special thanks to Bernie Romanowski, Pathways for Children facilities director, for all his hard work and his extraordinary care and attention to detail, from the project’s inception through its continued maintenance. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Zinnia ©Kim Smith 2014. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Sunflower ©Kim Smith 2014.Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2014.Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) ~ Notice the pretty moth nectaring from the milkweed in the upper right. The gardens are alive with pollinators of every species imaginable, including butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, songbirds, moths, and sundry insects!Bernie Romanowski ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

 Bernie Romanowski

Manchester Garden Club at Pathways ©Kim Smith 2014Manchester Garden Club

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Antennae for Design ~

The picnic table and trellis were designed to be stained a classic seaside blue. Why would we want to paint or stain the trellis and not simply allow it to gain a weathered patina? From an aesthetic point of view, the wood used for both the picnic table and trellis are two different types and will age very differently from each other. If this were a very large garden, it wouldn’t matter so much, but in a cozy garden room such as this, the difference will become quite noticeable and unappealing over time. Additionally, the blue will offset the flowers and foliage handsomely and is a cheery choice with children in mind.

From a very practical standpoint, untreated wood will quickly degrade in our salty sea air and neither piece will last more than ten years without protection. An opaque stain is the best solution because as the trellis and picnic table age, the obvious differences in wood will be disguised. An opaque stain also requires the least amount of effort to maintain over time. The architectural details were designed to be a coordinated focal point in the garden. Many, many have donated their time and provided generous funding to the garden and hopefully, the integrity of the garden’s design will continue to be honored by all.

Rotting untreated trellis ©Kim Smith 2014The above is a photo of untreated trellis, allowed to weather, and was installed approximately ten years ago.

_DSF8394 Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden school bus ©Kim Smith 2014.

On Behalf of Pathways for Children and Myself ~ Thank You to the Beautiful Manchester Garden Club Ladies!!!

Manchester Garden Club at Pathways ©Kim Smith 2014After months of planning and coordinating, this week we installed the new butterfly garden at Pathways for Children. We’ll be bringing you more updates from the garden but I wanted to first thank our super hard-working, fabulous and fun, beautiful team of volunteers from the Manchester Garden Club. We planted the garden in record time due to their can-do-attitudes. Thank You Ladies–you were simply the BEST!!!

And, success! As Bernie Romanowski, the facilities director, and I were tidying up, not one, but two butterflies stopped by to investigate the new garden, a Cabbage White and a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail. I wished our volunteers had seen that. Plant and they will come!

New Butterfly Garden at Pathways for Children!

Pathways before -2©Kim Smith 2014Breaking Ground!

Pathways Before ©Kim Smith 2014Pathways for Children “Before” Photo

This week we broke ground for a butterfly garden at Pathways for Children. I think it has been several years since Caroline Haines, the COO of Pathways, and I, first began discussing the possibility of a pollinator garden for Pathways. Then in the summer of 2012 we had an amazing Monarch Butterfly program for the children, and believe me when I write that it was truly a fabulous event because it just so happened that very day, several of the caterpillars pupated right before the children’s eyes! Caroline, the teachers, and the students had the “bug.”

After meeting with Caroline, Pathway’s Bernie Romanowski, and teacher Sandra, we determined the best use of the space would be to create an outdoor classroom within the flowering pollinator garden—no easy task as the front elevation is one long narrow sliver of space. Fortunately, though, the front of the building also faces primarily south, which is ideal for planting the most fun and colorful of butterfly, bee, and songbird attracting plants.

Pathways Liberty Mutual Volunteers ©Kim Smith 2014Liberty Mutual Volunteers

Bernie secured a bobcat for exactly two hours and proceeded to rip out the overgrown and diseased trees and shrubs. Under Bernie’s direction, we were then joined by a dream team of volunteers from Liberty Mutual who, in less than five hours, completely transformed the front to the beautiful canvas you see below. A fence, two- foot wide trellised pergola, and table are yet to be installed. And, the Manchester Garden Club has graciously offered to lend a hand with the planting!

Bernie Romanowski ©Kim Smith 2014 copyThe Amazing Can-Do Bernie Romanowski

Pathways new butterfly garden ©Kim Smith 2014Our Canvas

Stay tuned for more updates to come!

Baby Chipping Sparrow

Butterfly Courtyard Willowdale Estate©Kim Smith 2013

Notice the two gardenia trees in the large planters in the background. Weren’t we startled  several weeks ago to find a nest tucked in the crook of the gardenia branches, with an egg!! The planters are moved often enough to accommodate wedding ceremonies, but that didn’t deter in the least the highly adaptable Chipping Sparrow from building its nest.

Baby Chipping Sparrow ©Kim Smith 2013Baby Chipping Sparrow 

Chipping SparrowParent Chipping Sparrow. The mom/pop waited anxiously, with a fat green caterpillar dangling from its mouth, for me to stop photographing. As soon as I moved away, it  flew to the nest to deposit the worm into the hungry baby’s wide-open mouth. The entire time I was there delivering plants Sunday afternoon, the baby never closed its mouth!

The song of the Chipping Sparrow is a lovely trill and you can hear it well on this video. They also make a piercing flight call, a characteristic sound of the evening sky during their annual spring and fall migration.

GMG FOBs Don’t Forget Kim Smith’s Evening Tour Of Willowdale Estate’s Butterfly Gardens Which She Designed Monday!

Kim writes-

Please join me Monday evening for a tour of the butterfly gardens I designed for Willowdale Estate. Come experience a taste of Briar’s gracious hospitality and enjoy refreshments served in the conservatory. The tulips are at their peak and look simply spectacular this year. I will also be showing several of my short films. Please RSVP to Sarah at: Sarah@WillowdaleEstate.com ~ 978-887-8211.

I hope to see you there!

Willowdale Kim Smith Artist spotlight event 2013

Save the Date ~ Tuesday June 12

I hope you can come join me in the courtyard garden I designed for Willowdale on Tuesday June 12th at 7pm. The event is free and should be lots of fun. I am looking forward to showing my film and the garden and Briar will prepare her wonderful array of refreshments, within the setting of the beautifully restored Arts and Crafts mansion and gardens that is Willowdale! RSVP to Info@WillowdaleEastate.com

Special Events At Willowdale Estate

As many know from reading my posts, my dear friend, and one of my favorite design clients, is Briar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate, located in Topsfield. I was delighted to attend Briar’s birthday party, which was a wine and food tasting event, and held in the new conservatory at Willowdale. Usually when there I am up to my elbows in design projects so it was a real pleasure to get a sense of how it feels to be a guest. I’ll write more in a future post about the history of, and rebuilding of, the conservatory.

The party started at 4:00 and the late afternoon sunlight streaming through the conservatory windows lent a warm and welcoming glow to the event. The service was absolutely impeccable (do you find that is not often easy to say?). Chef Joe Joyce and staff had prepared simply the most divine courses, paired with wines that perfectly complemented each dish. All the wines were delicious and I can imagine they would be great paired with any number of meals. Unfortunately, I did not take a snapshot of the first course, which was a  Duxbury Oyster with Champagne Foam and Blood Orange Caviar, served with a sparkling Dibon Cava Brut. I love sparkling wines and found this perfectly not overly sweet. I am not going to go on and on telling you how super delicious was all–it was–and hope the photos give an idea. The wines were provided by Geoffrey Fallon.

Sweet Pea Agnolotti, Lobster Tail, Vanilla Aioli and Pea Shoots
Paired with Lamoreaux Chardonnay
Crispy Pork Belly, Poached Apple, Celeriac Puree, Micro Dijon Greens
Paired with Arabanta Rioja

Seared  Tenderloin of Beef, King Oyster Mushroom, Bone Marrow Cracker, and Bordelaise Paired with Pietrantonj Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Braised Lamb Shank, Grilled Polenta, Mustard Greens and Baby Turnip Paired with Armandiere Cahors 

Visit Willowdale’s website—they are a full service special events venue, specializing in their own in-house fabulous catering. Tours are offered throughout the year and many Gloucester companies do business with Willowdale, including several of our local florists and photographers.

Click last photo to see slideshow of all party pics.

Kim Smith’s Butterfly Garden Workshop at Tower Hill Botanic Garden this Sunday, May Day

Join Kim Smith this Sunday at 1:00 at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Worcester for the perfect May Day event–How to Create a Butterfly Garden. Pre-registration is required: Creating Summer Magic.

Monarch Butterflies Nectaring at Smooth Asters

Monarch Butterflies Nectaring at Smooth Aster

I will be presenting the necessary elements to help you create a beautiful and welcoming haven for butterflies. Once you begin to think about your garden as food source and shelter, it will influence all your horticultural decisions. Native and well-behaved non-native plants, along with examples of architectural features, will be discussed based on their value to attracting specific butterflies. This lecture and slide presentation will help you gain a deeper understanding of the interconnected world that we human beings share with plants and butterflies and how to translate that information to your own garden. Butterfly gardening plant list included with workshop.

From wiki: The Floralia, also known as the Florifertum, was an ancient Roman Festival dedicated to Flora the goddess of flowers and vegetation. It was held on the IV Calends of May, April 27 to May 3, and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. While flowers decked the temples, Roman citizens wore colorful clothing instead of the usual white, and offerings were made of milk and honey to Flora.

Maurice Prendergast May Day Central Park 1901

Maurice Prendergast May Day Celebration Central Park 1901