Canna – fall care & winter storage

Ruby-throated Hummingbird nectaring on Canna in Pat Sutton’s garden

Now that it’s early December I’d like to share a late fall garden task for those of us living in the Northeast where winters can be harsh.

I normally try to dig up my Cannas  sometime in November for the winter.  This year I’m running late and  ran out today before the predicted snow to do the deed.   Those of you who have Cannas  will want to dig them up, if you haven’t already, before it gets too cold to perform this task.

You could leave your Canna tubers in the ground, but they may rot over the winter, so it’s a lottery (you may lose them all).  Some of the ones I’ve left in the ground make it through the winter (especially in a south-facing garden), but most rot.   If you dig them up and store them properly over the winter, you’ll have viable tubers to plant next spring & some extras to give away to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors.

Canna tubers multiply!   If you planted 3 Canna tubers, don’t be surprised if they’ve multiplied into 30 Canna tubers.  For about 5 years I dug up all my Canna tubers each fall.  This was very labor intensive, but it enabled me to give 100s  away each spring (the extras after I’d planted what I wanted).

Tubers dug up from only 10 plants (December 5, 2018)

If the task of digging them all up is just too much for you , dig up the tubers from just a few of your plants so you’re sure to have enough to plant next spring.  That’s what I’ve been doing in recent years, only digging up enough for my own garden needs.   My back is much happier with this decision too.

HOW TO WINTER OVER YOUR CANNA TUBERS

I dig my Canna tubers up in late November or early December (before the ground freezes).  My step-by-step process follows:

This is what Cannas look like after the first frost, browned and limp, no longer green
  • I cut the stems off at the ground to make the task of digging the tubers up more manageable

  • I scrape away any mulch to expose all the tubers
By fall, one small tuber planted in spring has multiplied into a sprawling array of tubers
  • With a shovel or pitch fork I dig down under the tubers (starting my dig well beyond  the exposed tubers and cut off stalks).  I  loosen the tubers and pry the enormous mass  out of the ground

  • You can break big ones apart into smaller and more manageable tubers
  • Tap the dirt off the Canna tubers
  • Place a large plastic bag in a shallow tray or a crate
  • Put a layer of leaves, shredded newspaper, or pine needles in the bottom of the bag (to act as insulation against freezing)
  • Lay the Canna tubers  on top of the leaves, shredded newspaper, or pine needles . . . layer by layer
  • Cover the top layer of Canna tubers with more leaves, shredded newspaper, or pine needles (to protect them from a brutal cold winter).  Tuck more of the insulating material (leaves, pine needles) down around the edges.
  • Pull the bag shut
  • We put our Canna tubers in the crawl space under our house because we don’t have a garage or basement.  A  friend with a basement, puts hers into trash cans with leaves or shredded newspaper and keeps them in her basement.  You could probably store the crate or trash can full of Canna tubers in a garage as well.
We’ve recycled a friend’s grape tray (that he gave us after wine making) and use it to contain our bag of tubers and pine needles. It is shallow so we can easily slide it into our crawl space under the house

PLANTING CANNAS IN SPRING

  • Once the ground is warm, plant single canna tubers here and there around the garden in spots that get full sun.  They are a lovely accent in the garden.  Or you might enjoy planting  a border or a circular bed of them (they make a great “hide and seek” spot for kids to play in).
  • Don’t plant your canna tubers too deep, otherwise they’ll take forever to peek through the soil & bloom.  Simply scrape away a shallow area (not a deep hole), lay down the Canna tuber, and cover it with soil.
  • One tuber will grow into several tubers (sometimes numerous tubers) and send up a number of stalks that will bloom all summer and right through late fall until the first frost, drawing in constant nectaring hummingbirds. 

Happy Gardening,

Pat

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)

 

2017 Gardening for Wildlife WORKSHOP SERIES

Mistflower with Gray Hairstreak and a caterpillar. Native plants are KEY: many offer nectar and serve as important host plants for butterflies and moths

This year I’ve added two brand new topics,
so there will be 7 in-depth
“Gardening for Wildlife With Native Plants” Workshops (pdf)

on select Saturdays and Sundays
March 11 – April 1, 2017

 the perfect time to shake off winter
and begin planning and planting
(or enhancing) your property and wildlife garden

Learn to create gardens and habitats in little time.  Learn of the best plants for wildlife and sources of locally grown natives.  Learn how to save money by encouraging seed production rather than hampering it with traditional gardening practices.  See immediate results by implementing wildlife-friendly garden practices rather than traditional wildlife death-trap practices.  Benefit from maintenance tips and advice so that your habitat looks its best.

Many (1000s) have taken these workshops, been empowered, and created habitats that have given them pleasure for years to come.

If you have taken one of these workshops with me and would like to share a one-liner (or more) about them that might help others realize their value, I’d be most grateful.  Add your comment(s) in the comment section following this post (I may use your comments as I continue to promote these workshops, so THANKS).

w-sig-sm-shadegdn-undertulip-5-20-16
Shade Gardening is one of 2 new topics covered in 2017

Imagine walking out your own door into a habitat that YOU created, a habitat that fills up with wildlife visitors galore: hummingbirds, butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalises, dragonflies, ladybugs, many different native bees, beetles and other fun pollinators, songbirds, frogs, turtles, moths at night, and more!  Every walk down your garden path is full of wonder, learning, delight, awe . . . almost like traveling to an exotic land, but that exotic place is your own back (or front) yard.  There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you provide safe haven for all these creatures.

Consider joining me for one, several, or all seven of these workshops (discounted fees when you sign up for 3 or more workshops).  Native plants and wildlife-friendly practices are the key and will be emphasized and detailed throughout.

I present a zillion one- to two-hour programs each year and maybe you’ve attended a few of these. I love teaching them, but (with only one or two hours) they are more one-sided presentations, me sharing fun natural history information and images with you, the audience.

w-sig-sm-prowarbler-w-cat-suttongdn
Prothonotary Warblers returned in 2016 to nest again in Sutton’s garden where they found a wealth of butterfly and moth caterpillars to feed two broods of young

These full-day workshops offer the opportunity to be far more in-depth and interactive and are more likely to empower you, take you to the next level.  Take advantage of this special opportunity to educate yourself.  Don’t count on landscapers or nursery owners; sadly many of them are not well informed about native plants and wildlife gardening practices.   I have heard my share of horror stories where folks have paid dearly for a butterfly garden of native plants and instead ended up with a bed of non-native invasives.

The 5-hour format (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) allows for:

  • an interactive workshop atmosphere
  • each workshop covers a unique aspect of wildlife gardening (in-depth)
  • each workshop builds on the others, but is not repetitive (so you’ll want to try and attend all 7 to maximize your learning opportunity)
  • resources (handouts and circulated books) that are key to your learning and understanding will be shared and showcased
  • you’ll learn how to utilize these resources (find answers to burning questions you may have)
  • time for in-depth questions
  • time for in-depth answers
  • during a working lunch we’ll brainstorm (as a group) each participant’s specific challenges (you’ll draw a rough sketch of your yard and submit a photo of your sketch that I’ll  project so we can all see it for this brainstorming)
  • time to get to know one another and learn from each other (of garden triumphs and tribulations, successes and pitfalls). Nothing beats collective experience and roundtable discussion
  • each workshop will culminate in a site visit to a nearby backyard habitat (including my own and others) where wildlife-friendly practices and design and plant selections will be showcased
w-sig-sm-greenfrog-suttonpond-7-7-16
Three different Green Frogs called our ponds home in 2016, along with many Leopard Frogs and Gray Tree Frogs.

Take advantage of the discount by signing up for 3 or more workshops.

So, what do you say! Will I see you in March and early April?

 

 

2017 “GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE WITH NATIVE PLANTS ” WORKSHOPS with Pat Sutton  (pdf)

for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May
1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (609-427-3045)

  1. Saturday, March 11 – How to Create a Backyard Habitat
  2. Sunday, March 12 – Lose the Lawn, Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead (from small “Pocket Meadow” up to sizable meadows)
  3. Saturday, March 18 – How to Create a Pollinator Garden (to benefit Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Moths, Bees, & More) 
  4. Sunday, March 19 – Plant Wars: How to Recognize and Deal With Invasive Plant Species
  5. Saturday, March 25 — How to Create a No-Fuss Wildlife Pond
  6. Sunday, March 26 — How to Make Messy Look Good (Maintenance Tips & Advice) & Shade Gardening (2 NEW topics packed into one session)
  7. Saturday, April 1 – Landscape Design With Wildlife in Mind


Where:
 Please note that the 7 workshops in this series will be held at the Cape May Bird Observatory Center for Research & Education, 600 Rt. 47 N, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 and not at the Nature Center of Cape May in Cape May.

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

Limit: 20 participants;  preregistration required  (through NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204; 609-427-3045 — if you reach the message machine, leave a message — your call will be returned).

Cost/workshop (includes handouts):
$40 member of NJ Audubon Society, $50 nonmember
Sign up for three or more workshops for a discount:
$30 each (member); $40 each (nonmember)

Sign up for five or more workshops and receive a FREE ticket to visit Sutton’s garden during peak blooming (dates to be set).

w-sig-sm-edit2-suttongdn-7-9-16
Sutton’s garden July 9, 2016
w-sig-sm-11-14-16-sutton-fall-gdn
Sutton’s late fall garden, Nov. 14, 2016

All workshops include a site visit to a nearby wildlife garden (Sutton’s garden and others).

2016 Gardening for Wildlife WORKSHOP SERIES

w-sig-BYH 2015(001)
Workshop participants enjoying Sutton’s wildlife habitat

I can’t wait to once again teach
the series of 6 in-depth

“Gardening for Wildlife” Workshops (pdf)
on select Saturdays and Sundays
February 27 – March 19, 2016,

 the perfect time to shake off winter
and begin planning and planting
(or enhancing) your property and wildlife garden.

sig-4 MonarchCats-SuttonGDN-8-27-15
Every walk down the garden path is full of wonder, here 4 Monarch caterpillars on Swamp Milkweed

Learn to create gardens and habitats in little time, save money (by encouraging seed production rather than hampering it with traditional gardening practices), and see long-term results (by implementing wildlife-friendly garden practices rather than traditional wildlife death-trap practices).

Many (1000s) have taken these workshops, been empowered, and created habitats that have given them pleasure for years to come.

If you have taken one of these workshops with me and would like to share a one-liner (or more) about them that might help others realize their value, I’d be most grateful.  Add your comment(s) in the comment section following this post (I may use your comments as I continue to promote these workshops, so THANKS).

There is nothing more special than stepping out the door into a habitat that YOU created, a habitat that fills up with wildlife visitors galore: hummingbirds, butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalises, dragonflies, ladybugs, many different native bees, beetles and other fun pollinators, songbirds, frogs, turtles, moths at night, and more!  Every walk down your garden path is full of wonder, learning, delight, awe . . . almost like traveling to an exotic land, but that exotic place is your own back (or front) yard.  There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you provide safe haven for all these creatures.

Hummingbird amidst Sutton’s late fall garden of still-blooming asters and salvias

Consider joining me for one, several, or all six of these workshops (discounted fees when you sign up for 3 or more workshops).  Native plants and wildlife-friendly practices are the key and will be emphasized and detailed throughout.

I present a zillion one- to two-hour programs each year and maybe you’ve attended a few of these. I love teaching them, but (with only one or two hours) they are more one-sided presentations, me sharing fun natural history information and images with you, the audience.

These full-day workshops offer the opportunity to be far more in-depth and interactive and are more likely to empower you, take you to the next level.  Educate yourself.  Don’t count on landscapers or nursery owners; sadly many of them are not well informed about native plants and wildlife gardening practices.   I have heard my share of horror stories where folks have paid dearly for a butterfly garden of native plants and instead got a bed of non-native invasives.

 

The 5-hour format (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) allows for:

  • an interactive workshop atmosphere
  • each workshop covers a unique aspect of wildlife gardening (in-depth)
  • each workshop builds on the others, but is not repetitive (so you’ll want to try and attend all 6 to maximize your learning opportunity)
  • resources (handouts and circulated books) will be shared and showcased
  • you’ll learn how to utilize these resources (find answers to burning questions you may have)
  • time for in-depth questions
  • time for in-depth answers
  • during a working lunch we’ll brainstorm (as a group) each participant’s specific challenges (you’ll draw a rough sketch of your yard and submit a photo of your sketch that I’ll  project so we can all see it for this brainstorming)
  • time to get to know one another and learn from each other (of garden triumphs and tribulations, successes and pitfalls). Nothing beats collective experience and roundtable discussion
  • each workshop will culminate in a site visit to a nearby backyard habitat (including my own and others) where wildlife-friendly practices and design and plant selections will be showcased
Golden-crowned Kinglet successfully finding food in Frost Aster, a lovely native

So, what do you say! Will I see you in late February & March?

Take advantage of the discount by signing up for 3 or more workshops.  Sign up today and begin getting ready for the workshops. Draw a rough sketch of your yard, indicating structures (and hardscapes like driveways, decks, etc.), existing habitats (lawn, forest, lone trees, shrub islands, gardens, bird feeding station, brush pile, etc.), and mark NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST on the sketch. Take time to note the sun’s path through your yard and where the sunniest areas are. Begin making a wish list of the elements you want to add as well as the elements you need to work around.

****************************************************************************************************

2016 GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE WORKSHOPS

with Pat Sutton (pdf)

for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May
1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (609-898-8848)

  1. Saturday, February 27 – How to Create a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife
  2. Sunday, February 28 – Lose the Lawn, Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead (from small “Pocket Meadow” up to sizable meadows)
  3. Saturday, March 5 – How to Create a Pollinator Garden (to benefit Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Moths, Bees, & More) 
  4. Sunday, March 6 – Battlestar Backyardia – Battling the Alien Invaders (How to Recognize and Deal With Invasive Species)
  5. Saturday, March 12 — How to Create a No-Fuss Wildlife Pond
  6. Saturday, March 19 – Landscape Design With Wildlife In Mind
Pat Sutton’s Monarch Waystation

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

Where: Please note that the 6 workshops in this series will be held at the Cape May Bird Observatory Center for Research & Education, 600 Rt. 47 N, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 and not at the Nature Center of Cape May in Cape May.

Limit: 20 participants;  preregistration required  (through NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204; 609-898-8848 — if you reach their message machine, do leave a message . . . they’ll get back to you).

Cost/workshop (includes handouts):
$40 member of NJ Audubon Society, $50 nonmember
Sign up for three or more workshops for a discount:
$30 each (member); $40 each (nonmember)

Sign up for all six workshops and receive a FREE copy of Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home or an 8 oz. HummZinger Hummingbird Feeder.
All workshops include a site visit to a nearby wildlife garden (Sutton’s garden and others).

Hummingbird Garden Tours: Aug. 15, 16, & 17

Cardinal Flower w-Ruby-thHummingbird by Patricia Sutton

 

 

 

 

It is the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration.  Numbers have exploded now that young have left the nest, females are busy with second broods, and hummingbirds that nested in the far north (Gaspe Peninsula) are moving south.  Gardens designed and planted with hummingbird-friendly plants and a wealth of yummy soft-bodied insects (which hummingbirds also love to eat) are experiencing a virtual blizzard of hummingbirds.

Pat Sutton has worked with 18 garden owners to line up a set of Garden Tours not to be missed!

 

 

 

2014 Tours of Private HUMMINGBIRD Gardens           10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, August 15: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Saturday, August 16: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Sunday, August 17: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

At the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration, we’ll savor an array of diverse gardens that have hosted nesting hummingbirds since May and are now drawing in dozens of migrants. Native nectar plants, healthy insect populations, water sources, and adequate cover are key elements of each garden.

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING

Gardening naturalist and author, Pat Sutton, leads these tours, which include her own garden in Goshen (North tour). Bring lunch since the group will eat in one of the gardens.

If some of you are keen to create a butterfly & hummingbird garden, be sure to download the article & plant list Sutton wrote / created:

Limit: 25 per tour.
Nine Tours / Cost per tour: $35 members (NJ Audubon), $45 nonmembers.
(Join three tours at a discounted rate of $90 members, $115 nonmembers.)
These tours require preregistration with payment.

Registration: you may register by phone at 609.898.8848 with a credit card or send payment to the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (noting which tours and full names, addresses, and phone numbers of registrants).

NCCM reserves the right to cancel programs, and refunds are available only if NCCM cancels the event. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis. Become a member of NJAS and receive discounts in the gift shop and on many programs.

2014 Wildlife Garden Tours

Monarch on Meadow Blazing Star with Purple Coneflowers beyond (both are Chocolate Cakes)
Monarch on Meadow Blazing Star with Purple Coneflowers beyond (both are Chocolate Cakes, irresistible to pollinators)

This is the 23rd year I’ve been leading these tours of private backyard wildlife gardens.  And they just keep getting yummier and yummier!

Mark your calendar with the following dates & plan to join me for one, several, or all NINE of the 2014 “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf)  that I will again be leading for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.

Alert your friends, family, neighbors, … anyone you’re trying to HOOK on wildlife gardening!

We’ll be visiting 18 gardens over a 3-day period – six delightful and unique gardens each day.  These wildlife-friendly gardens offer so many ideas in the way of design, use of space, plant combinations, native plants that are lovely AND beneficial to wildlife, “chocolate cake” nectar plants, key caterpillar plants, great native shrub ideas, “how to” create your own meadow ideas, garden accents and features like misters, dragonfly ponds, arbors . . .

Imagine getting a glimpse into private backyard wildlife gardens, interacting with the artists who created them, having each and every garden and wildlife question answered, enjoying it with a group of fellow wildlife gardeners, all while being entertained by buzzing and hungry and feisty hummingbirds, dazzling dragonflies, glittering butterflies and other pollinators!  Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it ? !

Enjoy a SNEAK PEAK (South Tour, North TourMid-County Tour) into some of the gardens we’ve visited in the past.  I’ve updated these links to include many new gardens added in recent years.

“Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf)

with NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May

1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204

(609)898-8848

 

Tours of Private BUTTERFLY Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 18: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Saturday, July 19: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

Sunday, July 20: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Pollinators galore (Sachem and Bumble Bee) are drawn to Purple Coneflower

More butterfly and hummingbird gardens are tucked into Cape May County than probably anywhere else in the country. Mid-July is the time of peak butterfly diversity and numbers. Gardens look completely different from one month to the next (so seriously consider all 9 tours). Learn the magic combination of native nectar plants and caterpillar plants that makes a garden especially attractive to butterflies. Design ideas and new wildlife plants will be showcased while tour participants are entertained by a blizzard of butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

Tours of Private HUMMINGBIRD Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, August 15: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Saturday, August 16: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Sunday, August 17: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird nectaring on Bee Balm

At the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration, we’ll savor an array of diverse gardens that have hosted nesting hummingbirds since May and are now drawing in dozens of migrants. Native nectar plants, healthy insect populations, water sources, and adequate cover are key elements of each garden.

 

 

Tours of Private MONARCH (butterfly) Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

Saturday, Sept. 20: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Sunday, Sept. 21: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Monarchs and a hungry Preying Mantis have come to dine  on New England Aster

At the peak of Cape May County’s world-famous fall Monarch migration, tour diverse gardens that have hosted Monarchs since May. Each features native nectar plants and as many as five different kinds of milkweed (used by Monarchs for egg laying to create the next generation). With the downward spiral of the Monarch population, time will tell, but we hope our gardens will be hosting Monarchs and Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and maybe even a chrysalis. The complex Monarch migration will be both explained and enjoyed.  Fall gardens will be full of other butterflies and many interesting pollinators.

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING

Gardening naturalist and author, Pat Sutton, leads these tours, which include her own garden in Goshen (North tour). Bring lunch since the group will eat in one of the gardens.

If some of you are keen to create a butterfly & hummingbird garden, be sure to download the article & plant list I wrote / created:

Limit: 25 per tour.
Nine Tours / Cost per tour: $35 members (NJ Audubon), $45 nonmembers.
(Join three tours at a discounted rate of $90 members, $115 nonmembers.)
These tours require preregistration with payment.

Registration: you may register by phone at 609.898.8848 with a credit card or send payment to the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (noting which tours and full names, addresses, and phone numbers of registrants).

NCCM reserves the right to cancel programs, and refunds are available only if NCCM cancels the event. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis. Become a member of NJAS and receive discounts in the gift shop and on many programs.

2013 Wildlife Garden Tours

001 - Monarchs w-sigThis is the 22nd year I’ve been leading these tours of private backyard wildlife gardens.  And they just keep getting yummier and yummier!

Be sure to mark your calendar with the following dates & plan to join me on one, several, or all NINE of the 2013 “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf) that I will again be leading for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.

NEW in 2013

The tours will be held mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday)
to avoid weekend seashore resort traffic!

Alert your friends, family, neighbors, … anyone you’re trying to HOOK on wildlife gardening!

These wildlife-friendly gardens offer so many ideas in the way of design, use of space, plant combinations, native plants that are lovely AND beneficial to wildlife, “chocolate cake” nectar plants, key caterpillar plants, great native shrub ideas, “how to” create your own meadow ideas, garden accents and features like misters, dragonfly ponds, arbors . . .

Imagine getting a glimpse into private backyard wildlife gardens, interacting with the artists who created them, having each and every garden and wildlife question answered, and enjoying it with a group of fellow wildlife gardeners.

Enjoy a SNEAK PEAK (South Tour, North TourMid-County Tour) into some of the gardens we’ve visited in the past.

“Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf)

with NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May

1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204

(609)898-8848

 

Tours of Private BUTTERFLY Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 16: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Wednesday, July 17: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

Thursday, July 18: SOUTH “Cape Island”

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Tiger Swallowtails (male on left, female on right) on Joe-pye-weed, a native perennial that is a Chocolate Cake to butterflies

More butterfly and hummingbird gardens are tucked into Cape May County than probably anywhere else in the country. Mid-July is the time of peak butterfly diversity and numbers. Gardens look completely different from one month to the next (so seriously consider all 9 tours). Learn the magic combination of native nectar plants and caterpillar plants that makes a garden especially attractive to butterflies. Design ideas and new wildlife plants will be showcased while tour participants are entertained by a blizzard of butterflies and hummingbirds.

Tours of Private HUMMINGBIRD Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 20: SOUTH “Cape Island

Wednesday, August 21: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Thursday, August 22: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird (one of dozens) in Sutton’s garden

At the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration, we’ll savor an array of diverse gardens that have hosted nesting hummingbirds since May and are now drawing in dozens of migrants. Native nectar plants, healthy insect populations, water sources, and adequate cover are key elements of each garden.

Tours of Private MONARCH (butterfly) Gardens — 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

Wednesday, Sept. 25: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Thursday, Sept. 26: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

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Migrating Monarchs nectaring on Seaside Goldenrod, a native perennial that many pollinators are drawn to.

At the peak of Cape May County’s world-famous fall Monarch migration, tour diverse gardens that have hosted Monarchs since May. Each features native nectar plants and as many as five different kinds of milkweed (used by Monarchs for egg laying to create the next generation). Expect clouds of Monarchs and other butterflies, Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and maybe even a chrysalis. The complex Monarch migration will be both explained and enjoyed.

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING

Gardening naturalist and author, Pat Sutton, leads these tours, which include her own garden in Goshen (North tour). Bring lunch since the group will eat in one of the gardens.

If some of you are keen to create a butterfly & hummingbird garden, be sure to download the article & plant list I wrote / created:

Limit: 25 per tour.
Nine Tours / Cost per tour: $35 members (NJ Audubon), $45 nonmembers.
(Join three tours at a discounted rate of $90 members, $115 nonmembers.)
These tours require preregistration with payment.

Registration: you may register by phone at 609.898.8848 with a credit card or send payment to the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (noting which tours and full names, addresses, and phone numbers of registrants).

NCCM reserves the right to cancel programs, and refunds are available only if NCCM cancels the event. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis. Become a member of NJAS and receive discounts in the gift shop and on many programs.

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
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July Tour 2011
Kathy & Roger Horn - w-signature
July Tour 2010
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
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July Tour 2012
May 28, 2014
May 28, 2014
June 17, 2013
June 17, 2013
August Tour 2013
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July Tour 2013
July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
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August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
May 18, 2013
May 18, 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
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August Tour 2012
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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
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July Tour 2010
May 18, 2013: The Springtime Garden
May 18, 2013: The Springtime Garden
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The Summer Garden (same garden as above).  July Tour 2010
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Heading around back for the view of Delaware Bay.  August Tour 2010
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
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August Tour 2010
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September Tour 2007
Bob Fogg's GDN 1 w-sig
July Tour 2012
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August Tour 2012
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July Tour 2008
IrmaMcVey's GDN 9-7-07(2)-w-signature
September Tour 2007
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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
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July Tour 2012
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July Tour 2012
July Tour 2013
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July Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
September Tour 2013
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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
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September Tour 2011
July Tour 2012
July Tour 2012
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
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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
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August Tour 2012
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August Tour 2013
July Tour 2008
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July Tour 2011
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July Tour 2008
August Tour 2013
August Tour 2013
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August Tour 2012
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July Tour 2012
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July Tour 2009
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August Tour 2010
September Tour 2007
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July Tour 2011
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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
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July Tour 2012
EvelynLovitz Sept 2007 - w-sig
September Tour 2007
June 2012
June 2012
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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
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July Tour 2011
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September Tour 2007
Two Monarch lovers in Mildred Morgan’s garden: Mildred and me (September Tour 2014)
July 2012
July 2012
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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
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September Tour 2009
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September Tour 2012
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September Tour 2008
Louise sharing native sunflowers during GDN tour-9-14-08
September Tour 2008
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August Tour 2008
Jane & Paul's GDN(1) - w-signature
July Tour 2007
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July Tour 2006
Ro Wilson - w-signature
September Tour 2008
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September Tour 2006