The following was shared as part of our celebration of National Pollinator Week, 2016.
Benjamin Vogt; Founder Monarch Gardens, Prairie Garden Consultation & Design
Monarch Gardens started with an obsession and a milkweed. At a new home with my newlywed wife back in 2007, I worked 8 hour days in hot summer sun creating a new landscape inspired by memories of my mother’s gardens. After noticing caterpillars, butterflies, and birds flocking to the young plants out back, I knew the garden wasn't just for me. I read every garden design, prairie ecology, and climate change book I could get my hands on; began lecturing regionally and then nationally, all while beginning a consulting firm that has now turned into native plant landscape design. The gardens I create are equally for humans and countless other species -- places of gratitude and compassion, solace, and empathy for all life. Our gardens matter and the way in which we create them and tend them matters far beyond the fence. Urban and suburban gardens create linked wildlife refuges, and we all make a difference in lives we never see but honor with our home landscapes.