Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Front Gate of Eloise Butler

For 63 years - Dedicated to Protecting, Preserving and Promoting
The interests of The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

New Wetland Boardwalk

New Garden Boardwalk

Phase one of the wetland restoration project boardwalk in honor of former Gardener Cary George is now installed. Dedication Sept. 20, 2015. Photos and details.

75 years ago

stranded streetcar

The winter of 1940/1941 began with the deadly Armistice Day Blizzard Martha Crone's Notes

The Original Garden 'Office'

The little cabin the served 3 Garden curators as an 'office' & visitor center from 1915 to 1970. Photos

Clinton Odell Sketch

75 Years Ago old Monarch Dies

On Oct. 28, 1940 the largest known White Oak in the city, and of great age, is removed from the Garden. So frail, it was considered a hazard. Historical Notes for 1940

Heritage Trees in the Garden

American Plum

The Garden has nine trees that qualify for the Minneapolis "Heritage Tree" listing. Article.

Why Native Plants? - for the Birds

Naturalist Tammy Mercer writes about the need for native plant diversity. Article here.

Female Cardinal

Garden Plant of the Week


Cephalanthus occidentalis L.

Eloise Butler wrote: "The “buttons” are creamy balls over an inch in diameter, composed of closely packed, small, tubular flowers. A specimen of this interesting plant, with many other species, was shipped from Massachusetts for planting in the wild garden in July of the first year of its founding. The location of the plant was not recorded, and it was supposed to have died out. The next year another plant was obtained, which produced one blossom the following season, and the next summer a dozen or more blooms. While admiring these, a random glance perceived a bush some distance within the swamp luminous with starry globes. It was the first Buttonbush, all covered with buttons à la mode, which had grown to maturity, undetected in the rank vegetation."


Natural History Comment

"Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps. When, formerly, I have analyzed my partiality for some farm which I had contemplated purchasing, I have frequently found that I was attracted solely by a few square rods of impermeable and unfathomable bog— a natural sink in one corner of it. That was the jewel which dazzled me. I derive more of my subsistence from the swamps which surround my native town than from the cultivated gardens in the village." Henry Thoreau, 1862, from Walking

A Seasonal Poem

The cat runs races with her tail. The dog
Leaps oer the orchard hedge and knarls the grass.
The swine run round and grunt and play with straw,
Snatching out hasty mouthfuls from the stack.
Sudden upon the elm tree tops the crow
Unceremonious visit pays and croaks,
Then swops away. From mossy barn the owl
Bobs hasty out--wheels round and, scared as soon,
As hastily retires. The ducks grow wild
And from the muddy pond fly up and wheel
A circle round the village and soon, tired,
Plunge in the pond again. The maids in haste
Snatch from the orchard hedge the mizzled clothes
And laughing hurry in to keep them dry.

"Signs of Winter" by
John Clare, English (1793- 1864)