Garden Tour 2016

A ‘Greener Garden’ for People and Butterflies

When this park was built in 2010, the Cosumnes Community Services District (CCSD) received a grant from the First Five Commission to help fund the 2-5 year old playground. One of the requirements of the grant was to build a butterfly garden adjacent to the playground.

The adjacent planting includes several butterfly favorites such as Yarrow, Butterfly Bush, Verbena, Spirea, Santa Barbara Daisy and Horsechestnut. Other common favorites for butterflies that you could include in your garden are Monarda, Lantana, Echinacea, Sages and Milkweed. In addition to plants, butterflies need areas for basking such as stones and boulders and a source of water.

Jordan Family Park was the first in a generation of new park plantings. The ratio of lawn to plantings was reduced to about 50% lawn and 50% plantings. This was a significant change from the traditional 90/10 or 80/20 ratio of lawns to planters. Plant selections also changed from trees and shrubs that were moderate water users to a much higher percentage of low and very low water users. In addition, California native plants were introduced and tested for success in the public landscape setting. Plants like California Lilac (Ceanothus species), Cleveland Sage (Salvia species) and Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) were used and have proven to be appropriate low water use choices for parks.

This park demonstrates that not only homeowners, but also public agencies can successfully create ‘greener gardens’ for people and butterflies!

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