2020 VIRTUAL Tours of Pat Sutton’s Private Wildlife Garden

2020 VIRTUAL Tours of Pat Sutton’s Private Wildlife Garden (43 Years in the Making)

Our wildlife garden has evolved over the last 43 years from a lawn and very few plantings (a Lilac bush and Day Lilies) to probably 100+ native plants and many different components (perennial garden, pocket meadow, shade trees and gardens, wildlife ponds, native woodland, living fences, etc.)  that all lure in and benefit wildlife.  Read this brief history to learn more.

This was the 4th year I led tours of my wildlife garden for CU Maurice River, a non-profit organization doing great work in South Jersey.  With Covid-19, the 2020 Tour was filmed on July 2nd and folks could join the tour VIRTUALLY on Tues., July 14, 2020.

If you missed this garden tour, there is a 2nd opportunity to join me for this Virtual Tour.  It will be one of many fun offerings as part of the 2020 Wheaton Arts Virtual ECO Week.  Details follow:

2020 Wheaton Arts Virtual ECO Week
includes

WHAT
VIRTUAL GARDEN TOUR
of Pat Sutton’s Private Wildlife Garden
40+ Years in the Making

WHEN
Friday, August 21, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE
From the comfort of your home

Registration for this event is FREE!   But you need to Click on the REGISTRATION LINK for this tour offered on Friday, August 21 and described as: ” The Sutton Garden in Summer: A Narrated Video Tour Followed by a Live Q & A, Sponsored by CU Maurice River,” at 6 pm. (CLICK HERE and scroll down to this offering to find the Registration Link)

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the selected Zoom webinar. Participants may join and rejoin the webinars at any time during the scheduled presentations.

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About the VIRTUAL Tour of Pat Sutton’s Private Wildlife Garden in Goshen, NJ (Cape May Co.), largely a NATIVE PLANT OASIS (filmed on July 2, 2020)

I’ll bet many of us have gardened more than normal this year, the year of Covid-19. Our wildlife garden and working in it has kept me sane during these uncertain times. I must give some credit for my sanity too to all the garden visitors I’ve discovered, learned about, and enjoyed this year. There have been so many fun sightings perhaps because we’ve been home a lot, out in the garden more, and savoring more. I hope this has been the case for you too.

I enjoyed sharing my garden with CU Maurice River on July 14th and am looking forward to sharing it again during the Wheaton Arts ECO Week.  If you should join me and see the footage, keep in mind it hasn’t always looked like it does now. Like each and every one of us, I have made some serious mistakes over the years and paid dearly for them. I love sharing my garden, not only because it is packed with Nature Happenings, but also because in doing so, I might help save others some of the angst and frustration I went through. I love sharing my garden also because I have learned so much about wildlife gardening and how wildlife responds to habitat. Truly, create it and they will come!

We see so much in our little 1/2 acre for many reasons. We barely have any grass left to mow. There are robust native perennials and understory trees and shrubs under all of our trees, not lawn. Rather than fight their thugishness, I am thrilled when shade-loving perennials I’ve planted like Common Blue Wood Aster seed further and further out into the lawn each year. More native plants and less lawn equals more habitat. One section of what had been lawn is an itty bitty meadow instead (12 feet x 12 feet). The meadow of native grasses and perennials compliments the formal perennial garden and hosts nectaring and egg-laying butterflies and other pollinators, nesting Box Turtles, and more! Our woods take up about one-third of our property and are filled with native trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, grasses, a sizable brush pile and many smaller brush piles, a butterfly house (made of overlapping branches with roofing shingles in between to keep weather out), and a seating area that is always cooler than the garden and overlooks a busy Hummingbird feeder (Meghan got footage of a hungry female during our virtual tour). Many of the butterflies that nectar in our garden lay their eggs on native trees, shrubs, grasses, and vines in our woods. The woods were an impenetrable wall of Multiflora Rose until 2009 when we reclaimed them, so many of the native trees and shrubs are eleven years old. In ridding the woods of invasives the seed bank of natives had a chance. The transformation has been complete, but does take routine vigilance because the very birds we attract are eating invasives elsewhere and sprinkling seeds of those invasives in our woods and elsewhere on our property.

So, join me if you can for this 2nd airing of a 2020 Virtual Tour of my Private Wildlife Garden. CUMR’s Meghan Thompson did the filming.  I’ll be narrating the garden tour, which will include some of my favorite garden still shots from this spring and past magic moments. This virtual presentation will showcase many of the pollinators and sights from this season.

You may want to download and print the latest update of my “Gardening for Pollinators” Handout (CLICK HERE), which includes lots of sage advice, Chocolate Cake nectar plants month-by-month, and sources of helpful signage.  It will prove very helpful during the Virtual Tour and afterwards!

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For twenty-three years (1991-2014), I led “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” in Cape May County  

Pat and Clay Sutton’s garden during the July Tour 2014

For twenty-three years (1991-2014), I led “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” in Cape May County.  I saw these tours as one of the best ways  to “grow” more wildlife gardeners.  You can see the excitement in the photo above as tour participants find, study, and share with each other butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, native bees, frogs, turtles, hummingbirds, and the beautiful nectar plants, host plants, wildlife ponds, water features, and habitats that have attracted them.

Initially I led these tours for NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, where I worked as the Program Director.  Between 2007-2014 I led the tours for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.

Many of the owners of these beautiful, private, wildlife gardens had taken workshops with me and / or attended these tours.

Many garden owners shared with me that a personal goal was to have their own garden included on these tours.  The number of wildlife gardens grew and grew.  Eventually there were so many educational gems to share that I broke Cape May County into three regions and led back-to-back tours, covering different parts of the county each day.  I led these tours in July, August, and September so attendees could see first hand the different “Chocolate Cakes” in bloom month-by-month and the variety of wildlife attracted.

On the final tour, garden-owner Gail Fisher presented me with my very own Chocolate Cake made by her Mom (it was delicious).

And to further spoil us on that final September 2014 garden tour Gail Fisher served homemade Chocolate Cupcakes.

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF PRIVATE WILDLIFE GARDENS

Many of the gardens that were included on the Cape May County tours can be seen in the photo galleries below.  These photos (taken over the years) truly record the evolution of these private wildlife gardens and may give you some great ideas for your own garden.

  • South Tour (Cape Island: Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May, and Lower Township)
  • Mid-County Tour (North Cape May, Villas, and Erma)
  • North Tour (Cape May Court House, Goshen  . . . including my own garden, Dennisville, Eldora, South Seaville, and Ocean View)

2018 Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens

2018 Tours of Pat Sutton’s Private Wildlife Garden (41 Years in the Making)

Our wildlife garden has evolved over the last 41 years from a lawn and very few plantings (a Lilac bush and Day Lilies) to probably 100+ native plants and many different components (perennial garden, pocket meadow, shade trees and gardens, wildlife ponds, native woodland, living fences, etc.)  that all lure in and benefit wildlife.  Read this brief history to learn more.

This year I am excited to share that I will be leading tours of my own wildlife garden for CU Maurice River, a non-profit organization (registration will be required through CU Maurice River, not through me).  Sign up for the session that best fits your schedule:

  • August 25, 2018 (Saturday) — 2 tours: 9:30 a.m. to Noon (Morning Session), 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Afternoon Session) — LIMIT/tour: 20.   COST/tour: $20 (CU member), $30 (nonmember).   Contact Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries at the office (856) 300-5331 to register and pay for this garden tour or reserve your spot online by clicking here .  Sunday, August 26 is the Rain Date.  For program write-up on CU Maurice River’s website click HERE.

Join Pat Sutton for a tour of her 41-year-old wildlife garden in Goshen (Cape May Co.), NJ, and opportunity to study and identify pollinators with Pat.  This garden showcases many different ways a habitat can offer the basics: food, cover, and water.  This ½ acre property includes two wildlife ponds, a pocket meadow, extensive shade gardens, wildlife corridors, shrub islands, a woodland of native plants (saved from a jungle of Multiflora Rose in 2009), an extensive pollinator garden (full of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees), native nectar plants galore, an extensive array of native host plants, feeding stations, many and different water features, as well as many fun garden features and design ideas.  This totally educational experience will benefit and dazzle long-time gardeners and new-to-wildlife-gardening participants alike.

2018 Tours of Chris and Arnold Clemenson’s Private Wildlife Gardens

Clemenson Farms Native Nursery is a wholesale nursery, but they do host special “Retail Sale Days” each year for the general public.

During their Saturday, June 16, 2018,  Retail Sale Day (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) I will be leading 3 tours of Chris & Arnold Clemenson’s beautiful private wildlife gardens in Estell Manor (Atlantic County), NJ.  These gardens showcase many, many lovely and beneficial native plants.

Three Tour Times: 10:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., or 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12.00/person.

Interact directly with Clemenson Farms Native Nursery (not with me) for tour tickets, which are available by reservation or on day of sale. Places are limited and these tours are popular, so reservations are recommended. To reserve your place on a tour, email Christine Clemenson at cac.clem3@gmail.com with your top two time slots. Payment due on day of sale.

Tour ticket includes a Clemenson Farm garden map and plant list. Bring a camera, binoculars, and walking shoes. You’ll go home with plant pictures and  practical ideas for transforming your garden into a pollinator paradise!

NOTE: Gardens will be closed to the general public during tour times, but open after the tours are completed.

Clemenson Farms Native Nursery’s 2018 Retail Sale Days: May 12, June 16, and September 15.  Don’t miss these great opportunities to purchase locally grown natives.  Print their list of available plants and bring it along so you don’t forget anything!

For twenty-three years (1991-2014), I led “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” in Cape May County.  

Pat and Clay Sutton’s garden during the July Tour 2014

For twenty-three years (1991-2014), I led “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” in Cape May County.  I saw these tours as one of the best ways  to “grow” more wildlife gardeners.  You can see the excitement in the photo above as tour participants find, study, and share with each other butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, native bees, frogs, turtles, hummingbirds, and the beautiful nectar plants, host plants, wildlife ponds, water features, and habitats that have attracted them.

Initially I led these tours for NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, where I worked as the Program Director.  Between 2007-2014 I led the tours for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.

Many of the owners of these beautiful, private, wildlife gardens had taken workshops with me and / or attended these tours.

Many garden owners shared with me that a personal goal was to have their own garden included on these tours.  The number of wildlife gardens grew and grew.  Eventually there were so many educational gems to share that I broke Cape May County into three regions and led back-to-back tours, covering different parts of the county each day.  I led these tours in July, August, and September so attendees could see first hand the different “Chocolate Cakes” in bloom month-by-month and the variety of wildlife attracted.

On the final tour, garden-owner Gail Fisher presented me with my very own Chocolate Cake made by her Mom (it was delicious).

And to further spoil us on that final September 2014 garden tour Gail Fisher served homemade Chocolate Cupcakes.

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF PRIVATE WILDLIFE GARDENS

Many of the gardens that were included on the Cape May County tours can be seen in the photo galleries below.  These photos (taken over the years) truly record the evolution of these private wildlife gardens and may give you some great ideas for your own garden.

  • South Tour (Cape Island: Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May, and Lower Township)
  • Mid-County Tour (North Cape May, Villas, and Erma)
  • North Tour (Cape May Court House, Goshen  . . . including my own garden, Dennisville, Eldora, South Seaville, and Ocean View)

 

Mid-County Tour — Photo Gallery

The Mid-County Tour included private wildlife gardens in North Cape May, Villas, and Erma. 

You can also see gardens that were included on the North Tour and on the South Tour.

July 2012
July 2012
July 2012
July 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2011
July Tour 2011
Kathy&Roger gdn w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2011
Kathy & Roger Horn - w-signature
July Tour 2010
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
LaurenReadGDN w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
May 28, 2014
May 28, 2014
June 17, 2013
June 17, 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
May 18, 2013
May 18, 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
VirginiaRettig w-sig
August Tour 2012
Virginia Rettig 2 -w-sig.jpg
August Tour 2012
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
KathyFlynn w-Pipevine Swallowtail cat
July Tour 2010
KathyFlynnGDN-7-17-10(006)-w-signature
July Tour 2010
May 18, 2013: The Springtime Garden
May 18, 2013: The Springtime Garden
KathyFlynn GDN 2 w-sig.jpg
The Summer Garden (same garden as above).  July Tour 2010
KathyFlynn w-sig.jpg
Heading around back for the view of Delaware Bay.  August Tour 2010
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
KathyFlynn'sGDN-8-15-10(002)-w -signature
August Tour 2010
Kathy-JohnFlynn-9-7-07-(3) BY PatSutton-w-signature
September Tour 2007
Bob Fogg's GDN 1 w-sig
July Tour 2012
BobFogg pond-w-sig
August Tour 2012
Bert'sGDN-w-signature
July Tour 2008
IrmaMcVey's GDN 9-7-07(2)-w-signature
September Tour 2007
IrmaMcVeyGDN-7-12-08
July Tour 2008
IrmaMcVey's GDN 9-7-07-w-signature
September Tour 2007

North Tour — Photo Gallery

The North Tour included private wildlife gardens in Cape May Court House, Goshen (including my own garden), Dennisville, Eldora, South Seaville, and Ocean View.  

You can also see gardens that were included on the Mid-County Tour and on the South Tour.

July Tour 2014
July Tour 2014
I couldn’t wait to include Dolores’ garden on the tour to showcase the transformation from boring lawn to . . . (wait for it)
July Tour 2014
July Tour 2014
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
March 6, 2003
March 6, 2003
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July 2012 Tour
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2008
July Tour 2008
July Tour 2008
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
Gordon and Eleanor Sept 2011 Tour w-sig.jpg
September Tour 2011
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
Gail Fisher July 2012-w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
Gail Fisher July 2012 Tour w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
September Tour 2011
September Tour 2011
May 2010
May 2010
July 9, 2013
July 9, 2013
July 28, 2013
July 28, 2013
September Tour 2012
September Tour 2012
Sutton Garden - July Tour 2012 w-sig.jpg
August Tour 2012
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
July Tour 2008
Sutton Gdn-July 2011 Tour-w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2011
SuttonGDN- July 2008 tour-w-sig2.jpg
July Tour 2008
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
Sutton Aug 2012 Tour w-sig.jpg
August Tour 2012
Sutton July 2012 Tour 2 w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
Sutton Pond July 2009 Tour - w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2009
Sutton Pond-August 2010 Tour-w-sig.jpg
August Tour 2010
September Tour 2007
SueSlotterback July 2011 Tour w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2011
SueSlotterback Sept 2011 Tour w-sig.jpg
September Tour 2011
July Tour 2008
July Tour 2008

July Tour 2007

South Tour — Photo Gallery

The South Tour included private wildlife gardens on Cape Island (south of the Cape May Canal): Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May, and Lower Township. 

You can also see gardens that were included on the Mid-County Tour and on the North Tour.

August Tour 2014
September Tour 2014
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
TrianglePark-August 2012 w-sig.jpg
August Tour 2012
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
EvelynLovitz July 2012w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
EvelynLovitz Sept 2007 - w-sig
September Tour 2007
June 2012
June 2012
TeresaKnipper-July 2012w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
June 2011
June 2011
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
September Tour 2014
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
Mildred Morgan July 2011w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2011
MildredMorgan'sGDN9-27-07-w-signature
September Tour 2007
Two Monarch lovers in Mildred Morgan’s garden: Mildred and me (September Tour 2014)
July 2012
July 2012
Mike&MeganCrewe July 2010w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2010
July 2012
July 2012
Keith & Jackie Parker July 2012 w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2012
Edie & Bill Schuhl July 2011 w-sig.jpg
July Tour 2011
Bill&Edie Sept 2009 w-sig.jpg
September Tour 2009
Schuhl Sept 2012 w-sig.jpg
September Tour 2012
Louise&Michael'sGDN-w-signature-9-14-08
September Tour 2008
Louise sharing native sunflowers during GDN tour-9-14-08
September Tour 2008
sm-JaneKashlak&PaulKerlingerGDN-8-4-08(1)-byPatSutton-w-signature
August Tour 2008
Jane & Paul's GDN(1) - w-signature
July Tour 2007
Ro'sGDN-7-6-06-w-signature
July Tour 2006
Ro Wilson - w-signature
September Tour 2008
Ro'sMilkweed w-Monarch-9-9-06-w-signature
September Tour 2006