Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Upland Hillside

Now in our 65th year - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Photo Identification Book of Garden Plants

graphic Spiral bound booklet, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches, 75 pages, thumbnail photos of 403 species of flowering forbs, small shrubs and ferns of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. All plants are native or introduced to Minnesota. Additional 236 images and notes to aid in identification. Photos are 1.25 inches square.

In addition, 114 grasses, sedges, large shrubs and trees of the Garden are line listed without photos. Full index. Information about the Garden, the curators and about The Friends. $20 plus shipping.

Order Here

Garden Plant of the Week

Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii Vitman

Big Bluestem is a native grass of the tall grass prairies. Its great height (to 8 feet) precludes most uses as an ornamental except that it works well as a massed background planting or in prairie restoration, including when mixed with its tall companion - Indian Grass. This is a warm season plant which does not even start to grow until summer and then flowers in August and September. The maturing stems and flowering panicles turn to a nice purplish-bronze color. The rames number 2 to 6+ (branches of the flowering panicle) and spread apart resembling turkey feet, particularly when 3 in number. It grows from a scaly rhizome which allows the plant to form a nice tuft. It does not compete well with cool season grasses or weeds and should have full sun and a somewhat moist to mesic site. There are several cultivars that are more ornamental with a darker purplish stem and panicle but just as tall. One is called "Blue Warrior" and another is "Dancing Wind".

Big Bluestem is native to Minnesota and all states and Canadian Provinces from the Rocky Mountains eastward. It is found in all of Minnesota except Cook County and a few other scattered counties. Eloise Butler introduced it into the Garden in 1915.


Seasonal Note

“I know that once in May I chose those days of spring as the finest of the year. And I may think so again when I am in the midst of another spring. But now it seems to me it is these few lingering days of October that must be the finest of all. In them, as in the days of spring, there is beauty, sunshine, genial conditions. But here there is an added quality, a sense of maturity, of having experienced more, a greater sense of knowing, a sense of ripening, of fulfillment, of acceptance. October is the culmination of the alterations of the year. This happiness, this deep content, that comes in the serenity of thees few latter days, is based on all that has gone before, is heightened by the proximity of change.”
Edwin Way Teale, from A Walk Through the Year.

A Seasonal Poem

I am up early. The box-elder leaves have fallen.
The eastern sky is the color of March.
The sky has spread out over the world like water.
The bootlegger and his wife are still asleep.

I saw the light first from the barn well.
The cold water fell into the night-chilled buckets,
Deepening to the somber blue of the southern sky.
Over the new trees, there was a strange light in the east.

The light was dawn. Like a man who has come home
After seeing many dark rivers, and will soon go again,
The dawn stood there with a quiet gaze;
Our eyes met through the top leaves of the young ash.

Dawn has come. The clouds floating in the east have turned white.
The fence posts have stopped being a part of the darkness.
The depth has disappeared from the puddles on the ground.
I look up angrily at the light.

"Getting Up Early" by
Robert Bly (b.1926)

Phase Two of the Garden Boardwalk

Garden BoardwalkThe Friends need your help! Phase One of the Garden's Boardwalk was dedicated in 2015 and has won three landscape architecture awards. Phase One only covered a portion of the wetland area that needs a firm boardwalk surface.

Your donation can help us continue the boardwalk further into the wetland.

All funds The Friends raise will go toward the construction of Phase Two of the Garden's Wetland Boardwalk. You can walk on the award-winning completed Phase I portion to see wetland plants and visualize where Phase II will complete this beautiful and functional walkway over the entire Wetland.

Please consider making a donation to this critical Garden project.

Details on the boardwalk, and how to donate at this link.