Phoebe Waugh’s acquaintance with the Garden and Wirth Park goes back to the 1960s, and she began visiting regularly in the 1990s. Her volunteer work and Friends membership began in 1998, and she was first elected to the board in 2005. With the Garden as her subject, she has taken many, many photographs, created paintings and written poems.
About the, she writes: “I have always admired the beauty and delicacy of the white trout lily. This picture was started in the spring, sometime between 1996 and 1998. I remember sitting on the path between the east woodland trail and the wetland trail drawing the lily. I did not finish it until fall when I found a photo of a trout lily in the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer."
Ever wonder who took the thousands of pictures of the Garden plants and scenes on the Friends website? More than 10,00 of them were snapped, cropped, labeled, categorized and uploaded by Gary Bebeau, Friends member since 1987, board member since 2001. He has been developing and maintaining the website since he created it in 2007.
Jim Proctor began volunteering in the Garden’s shelter in 1998. In 2005 he joined the board and in 2006 began leading groups removing invasive plants from the Garden. About his art, he writes: “As a sculptor, I use plant materials such as acorns, nutshells, winged seeds, plant hairs and thorns to create life-like, often surreal objects. I call these works ‘botanical fiction’ because they seem to be grown rather than built. They appear to the viewer as real plant specimens that are simultaneously exotic and familiar.
In the last several years I have contributed artwork to the annual Bird x Bird Art Auction, which benefits bird conservation, including at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. I typically contribute a work from my Bird Parts series, which began when I realized that many leaf stems look like bones, ash seeds look like feathers and birch catkins look like bird feet. Using these materials I make small collections of bird feet, legs, tails and wings. For example, Winged Seeds (see image) mimics a bird’s wing, including the bone structure. It is installed in a shadowbox display case of the kind I construct for most of my artworks. I plan to make another work in this series for the next Bird x Bird art auction. I hope you can come to the auction, see the work in person and support the good cause."
a warm day in October
‘the wasps thaw
but not enough
to dangle their
thin red legs
in the sky.
Poem by Lon Miller. Photo by Gloria Miller. Read more of Lon Miller in the Poet's Corner
Harriet Betzold is a former member of the Friends Board of directors and was Friends President 1994 - 1997. Harriet says her favorite time of year in the Garden is “the spring when the ephemerals are just starting to sprout and bloom and the birds are seeking out their territory for nesting. Identifying a bird by its song is a satisfying experience.” Her interest in birding dates back to her days on the family farm, when an aunt shared her extensive knowledge of birds. In high school, Harriet created a bird book for a biology class project. Later in life, she spent countless hours observing and drawing birds in the Garden. Shown below are eight of her drawings.
Note: Parts of this article were published in The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden newsletter, the Fringed Gentian™, Vol. 58, #4. Autumn 2010, and Winter 2005, Vol. 53 #1. Additional material has been added.