This spring the Friends of Holliday Lake State Park adopted the park's butterfly garden as one of their projects. The choice was appropriate since the group's president is a retired park employee who worked on the design and installation of the garden.
Butterfly garden at Holliday Lake State Park
The garden is designed to meet a butterfly's needs throughout its life–from egg to adult. It provides water and shelter. It has basking rocks–a spot for butterflies to warm up on cool mornings.
Milkweeds like this butterfly weed are the host plant for the monarch butterfly
The garden provides a place for egg laying. Caterpillars of many butterfly species are very selective eaters, feeding on leaves of only one kind of plant or of a group of closely related plants in a family. The adult lays eggs on that type of plant (called a host plant) and the newly hatched caterpillar has its preferred source of food immediately available.
The friends group began the garden renovation by weeding the area
The friends group began by identifying plants in the garden and then weeding the area. Host plants identified include Queen Anne's lace and yarrow, members of the carrot family, food for the eastern black swallowtail caterpillar, and butterfly weed. They have also noted that many host plants are found throughout the park. Several spice bushes (host for the spicebush butterfly) are just outside garden boundaries.
Many Pollinators will visit the garden
The garden nectar sources for adult butterfly include coreopsis, black-eyed Susans, clover, marigolds, and bee balm (monarda). This summer the friends group hopes to add more late summer-fall blooming plants and will identify other garden needs. And of course they will continue to weed the garden.
Black-eyed Susans are nectar sources for the adult butterfly
For more information on the Friends of Holliday Lake State Park, click here.
Holliday Lake State Park, 2759 State Park Road, Appomattox, VA 24522; Phone: (434) 248-6308; Email,hollidaylakeLearn more about park offerings by calling1-800-933-PARK