Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Fall upland landscape

For 64 years - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

The Garden season is April 1 to Oct. 15.

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Recent Friends' Garden Projects

President's Recent Letter (pdf)

Garden Curator's Recent Notes (pdf)

Current Postings

Links to other sites

Contact Us

Fall 2016 Invasive Plant Removal Schedule now active.

Garden Plant of the Week

Sky Blue Aster

Sky Blue Aster
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (Riddell) G.L. Nesom

Eloise Butler wrote in 1915 "Aster azureus [older botanical name] still burgeons on the hillsides (October 5). It is a sine qua non not only on account of its late blossoms, but because of their profusion and bright, pure color." It is truly one of the best of the large flowered blue asters, usually with less rosy tints than the Smooth Blue Aster or the Silky or Short's Aster. It is native to Minnesota and is easily grown from seed. The stems are 2 to 3 feet high and erect. The flower panicle is pyramid shaped with many flowers.


Natural History Note

"A woodland ramble in the garden in September and October is most inspiring and an experience to be well remembered. The blooming plants seem to have saved up a great deal of surplus vitality for the grande finale as tho to compensate for the bleak season ahead. there are times when gray winds blow all day long and bury the woods paths with brown leaves, then again the golden flood of an October day." Former Garden Curator Martha Crone, 1956.

A Seasonal Poem

I saw, as I walked the woodlands through,
Under September’s skies of blue,
A spray of leaves in a dress of gold,
Too fair and fragile for mortal hold.

For, as I broke the stem, I found
A shower of light had strewn the ground, –
Those who would grasp too much, will find
All worth having is left behind.

"A Fragment" by
Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

Eloise Butler Grabs the Elusive Fragrant Fern - 100 years ago

Eloise Butler and Fragrant Fern

Story: In 1916 Eloise Butler and Mary Meeker go to Interstate Park on the St. Croix and search for the elusive Fragrant Fern so the Garden would have a specimen. Never one to give up, she are rewarded at the last minute.

Asters and Goldenrods in the Garden

Photo Page of the Autumn asters and goldenrods in the Garden.