GRAPEVINE — The Grapevine Garden Club wants to help residents spruce up the city and attract butterflies with its annual plant sale.The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 at Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park at 411 Ball Street.Free seminars will be offered on butterfly gardening, perennials, shade and fern gardening and composting.Garden club spokeswoman Joetta King said the club is concerned because the milkweeds and nectar sources for butterflies are declining due to development and use of herbicides.“Plants recommended to attract butterflies to the garden will be identified to assist you in your selection,” said garden club spokeswoman Joetta King.Club president Karen Rice agreed.“Butterflies and caterpillars add such beauty and interest to a garden,” she said. “It is important to provide native and adaptive plants to provide food and nectar to a vital part of our outdoor ecosystem.“And besides, it is just fun to see butterflies float by on a breeze!”Butterfly plants provide nectar and serve as larval hosts for butterflies, King said. She said colorful plants attract their attention for nectar, and purple, red, orange, yellow and white blossoms are their favorites.Barbara Atkins will provide a free seminar on butterfly gardening during the plant sale.“From beginning to end — egg, caterpillar, chrysalis to butterfly — they are fascinating to watch. I always plant extra fennel, parsley, rue and dill to attract the black swallowtail, and I'm not ever disappointed. The female black swallowtail always finds the fennel plants in my garden, and I don't mind when her children eat them down to a stalk.“I've been blessed to watch the female lay her eggs, the caterpillars grow from 1/4 inch to three inches long; even found a chrysalis in the mortar between bricks on our house and watched the butterfly emerge. How the caterpillar managed to walk the 30 feet from the garden to the house is a mystery and a miracle. I could watch butterflies in my garden all day!”Club member Barbara Munn has incorporated coreopsis, poppies, lace vine, verbena, larkspur, roses, salvia and milkweed in her butterfly garden.“As a beginning gardener, one year I accidentally planted seeds that attracted both butterflies and bees,” Munn said. “It was so much fun watching them. I then purposely wanted to be a part of their life cycle, both to enjoy the process and to teach my grandchildren about their beauty and purpose.”Each spring, the club sponsors a community plant sale to benefit the its scholarship program and civic projects. Last year’s sale offered mostly heirloom plants and held horticulture seminars. In addition to plants that have been purchased for the sale, more than 1,000 one gallon size tried-and-true perennials have been dug and potted from members’ gardens.For further details: go to http://www.grapevinegardenclub.org/ or call 817-410-3350.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367