Butterflies are once again sipping nectar from milkweed and other plants in the garden created just for them on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
The garden, created near the Fine Arts building by the Environmental Club a few years ago, had fallen into disrepair as those students graduated.
A gardener herself, Anne Hawkinson doesn’t like to see neglected flowers and plants, so she spent most of a Saturday in January tearing out the weeds and planting plumbago, milkweed, Mexican heather, penta and lantana that butterflies favor.
Hawkinson has been maintaining the garden ever since.
“Twice a week, I spend part of my lunch hour watering it, unless we get rain,” says the coordinator of faculty credentials. “I usually come back after work twice a month to weed, water and feed it.”
Fortunately, Hawkinson lives only about 15 minutes from the campus.
She’s hoping that in the fall, some students will volunteer to tend the garden. But she’s determined to keep it thriving.
“I think it’s genetic. My mother and grandmother had beautiful flower gardens, so it’s part of who I am,” she says. “I don’t look at it as a chore. It’s a rewarding and therapeutic way to care for the environment and provide something pleasing – and hopefully, inspiring – for passers-by.”