Immediately in front of the Nature Center building stands the Pollinator Garden. The pollinator garden has a healthy stand of milkweed plants along with other pollinator-friendly plants such as goldenrod, bee balm, Joe Pye weed and salvia. These provide pollen and nectar to bees, butterflies, and insects. This garden and the other pollinator friendly aspects of the Nature Center’s gardens have enabled the Dunwoody Nature Center to be designated a Monarch Way Station by the Monarch Watch organization dedicated to supporting monarch butterflies during their annual migration to and from their winter habitat in Mexico.
As many people know, milkweed plants are in decline across the USA, mostly as a result of overuse of chemical weed controls and modern agricultural practices. The decline in milkweed plants consequently brings a decline in Monarch butterflies which depend solely on native milkweed plants for food and raising their young. The loss of the beautiful butterflies hurts us all by reducing their important role as pollinators of shrubs, flowers, and perhaps most importantly, our agricultural bounty that feeds us all.
The garden area includes the wisteria arbor off the building entry plaza. The arbor was generously funded by the Dunwoody Garden Club in 2016. This arbor supports an American wisteria plant which is both beautiful and very attractive to our buzzing friends. American wisteria is the native species of wisteria. While it does climb and spread like its adventuresome Chinese cousin, it is not invasive and does not smother other plants growing near it.
Native azaleas, hydrangeas and ferns complement the Pollinator Garden flowers. These flowers include beebalm, baptisia, coneflowers, Joe Pye weed, goldenrod, salvia, and verbena.