NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Rotary Club will formally dedicate the Nutley Public Library Butterfly Garden on Sat. May 18 at 11 a.m. The garden is being dedicated to Grace Viola who was a longtime friend of the Nutley Public Library and the Nutey Rotary Club.
In May of 2018, members of the Rotary Club of Nutley spent a Saturday morning installing a butterfly and hummingbird habitat in the garden space near the front door of the Nutley Public Library. The butterfly habitat compliments a perennial garden installed in that space by scouts in 2017. On Wednesday evening, some members of the club spent time spreading mulch to both control weeds and retain moisture in the habitat area.
Aside from the plantings from last year's scout project, the habitat garden consists of plants just coming out of the seedling stage. Some of the varieties are nectar plants that will provide food for butterflies and hummingbirds, others are host plants. The host plants are favored by butterflies as places to lay their eggs.Caterpillars will eventually emerge from those eggs, with the host plant serving as a food source for them. Huey stressed that one of the key activities of maintaining a butterfly garden is to not cut the plants back when they fade late in the season. May of those "dead" plants will most likely have butterfly eggs on them.
The Rotary Club of Nutley ordered butterfly and hummingbird plants from Prairie Moon Nursery. Delivered in 5 inch deep plant cells, the plants consisted of species to provide both nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds, and food for caterpillars. The assortment of plants includes varieties that will bloom at various times of the season to provide the maximum benefit to butterflies and hummingbirds. Unlike formal display gardens, the butterfly garden will take on a "weedy" look that mimics the natural environment.
According to Huey, members of the club will continue to make return trips to garden for maintenance and to possbily add more plants Seeds from some of the 2018 blooms were saved to sow for the libary garden as well as another butterfly garden in town. That garden is still in the planning stages.
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