The Friends of the Wildflower Garden
Then and Now at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
The Upland Garden area was added to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in 1944. In the photo below taken on July 30, 1950 we can see the progress made by Garden Curator Martha Crone in transforming the landscape from the domain of sumac and scruffy weeds into a wild flower garden. The path running diagonally from center left across the image is the center hillside path that runs between the current Guideposts 39 to 41. Martha often did mass groupings in her introduction of plants to the Garden and you can see some of that in this photo.
In the photo below we see a similar view today, but in early spring, (May 6, 2008) so the topography is clearly visible. Trees are clearly larger. The bench in the very upper right corner is also visible in the photo above from 1950. In the photo at the bottom of the page we see this hillside in summer.
Below: Taken from a slightly different perspective, we see the same hillside on August 2, 2013, 63 years and 3 days later than the historical photo at the top. The trunk of the lone Oak is visible and in the right backgroud is the bench on the far hill. The view to the right does not extent far enough to see the second bench shown in the first photo. The path runs across the center of the foliage but is hidden by the plant growth. We see a different plant community. Undoubtedly, some of the same plants are present, but it is more diverse, with no mass grouping of plants and many plants that are taller.
Photo Below: Here on May 28, 1951 we see the central hillside from the North looking South towards the first hill in the Upland with the Martin House on a tall support; there is a mass grouping of Lupine on the near hillside. Martha Crone wrote in her 1952 Self Conducted Tour brochure that the Lupine field was taken over later in the season by Red Rocket. Those are seen in the first photo above. There is an absence of tall prairie plants that are present today.