Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Information about Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Prairie landscape

This Month at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

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Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Web Site:

Please see the Minneapolis Park & Recreation web site for complete information on the Garden including current operating hours, parking pass information, bus routes, programs offered at the Garden, plant and bird checklists. A locater map is also available on the Parks website.

The Garden has available the program and activity guide for April (pdf copy)

This Month at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Skunk CabbageMarch: The Garden Gate is still closed as we wait for the coming of warm spring days. The time of opening by the calendar is April 1st, but the actual time of opening will depend on our weather: Will the gates be still blocked with snow? Will there be too much ice on the paths? We must wait and see. April is that variable month between astronomical spring in March and the real Minnesota spring of May. Historically, the Garden records tell us the possibilities. In 1907, Eloise Butler reported a two day snowfall on April 27-28 of 13 inches. In 1910 she was planting Skunk Cabbage and Dutchman's Breeches on March 21st as the frost was out of the ground already, but April 17th brought snow and heavy frost for the next three nights. In 1934 Martha Crone Martha opened the Garden on April 1st with 2 inches of snow on the ground and the month turned so cold that on the 21st water froze in the office and again on the 27th, with 1/2 inch of ice on the ponds. We must wait to see what this year brings.

The Garden was dedicated in 1907 to be a wild native plant oasis within an urban environment, not an arboretum and no formal beds - a small natural garden where the hand of man is to be less evident.

Former Garden Curator Martha Crone wrote: “By March the twilight noticeably lingers and winter’s drabness starts to disappear. In the still, leafless woods, the catkins of poplars, alders, birch and hazel start to show. They fling out drifting clouds of pollen but the bees and butterflies are not stirring yet."

Photo above right: Skunk Cabbage

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