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Monday, July 15, 2024


Spring gardening workshops at Nature Center


By On Deck Staff

Join Pat Sutton at the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, for four early spring Gardening for Wildlife Workshops designed to teach you how to enhance your backyard landscaping for wildlife.
The first workshop, Saturday, March 14, is entitled “How to Create a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife.” Backyards, no matter how small, can be transformed to attract showy hummingbirds, butterflies, bluebirds and other nesting songbirds, wintering birds, and so much more.
While participants may attend any or all of the sessions, this first workshop is the backbone to the series and will supply a good foundation for the three to follow.
Sutton will present “How to Create a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden,” on Saturday, March 21, followed by “How to Create a Wildflower Meadow and Pond,” on Saturday, March 28.
Clouds of butterflies and nesting bluebirds can still be found where the food is, that is gardens and meadows.
If you (or your corporate headquarters) have more lawn than you need and mowing gobbles up precious time and expensive gas, consider turning some of this lawn into a butterfly/hummingbird garden or wildflower meadow.
Even small gardens and meadows make a big difference to wildlife.
While you’re at it, consider adding a pond to your wildlife habitat. Frogs, toads, and dragonflies all need freshwater ponds for egg laying to create future generations.
Even a tiny pond will attract them. Learn what a true wildlife pond is and how simple it is to create—no fish, no need for running water, filters, and all the fuss.
In a true wildlife pond expect to attract and get to watch the amazing life cycle of huge Green Darner dragonflies or count the Leopard Green frogs that found your pond as if by magic.
The final workshop, “Milkweeds for Monarchs,” on Saturday, April 4, will focus on the incredible Asclepias, the phenomenal milkweed plant that nourishes the Monarch butterfly.
Four species of Asclepias thrive in southern New Jersey: Tropical, Common, Swamp, and Butterfly Weed. Come learn how easy they are to grow to create your own butterfly paradise.
Sutton, an avid wildlife-friendly gardener and former program director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, says, “Create it, and they will come!”
The workshops will include question-and-answer sessions and visits to nearby backyard habitats. During the working lunches, participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own gardens.
Before the workshops, download, print, and bring Sutton’s articles “How to Create a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden” and the “Recommended Plantings to Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Moths,” available at:
All workshops take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop fee for each is $30, reduced to $20 for New Jersey Audubon Society members.
Attendance is limited to 30 participants per session. Pre-registration is recommended for all programs. Call 609-898-8848.

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