Butterfly Festival, Plant Sale exceed expectations


By Linda McBride

The facts that (1) it wasn’t raining and (2) it wasn’t 90 degrees in the shade on Saturday, June 15, were both good omens. So good, in fact, that the Butterfly Festival and Plant Sale exceeded expectations in almost every way!

As we assembled at Short Pump Park at 9 a.m. and began organizing plants and activities, it quickly became clear that we had so many plants that we would need to re-think how we set things up. Spaces intended for children’s activities got drafted into holding plants, and pretty soon, nearly our whole large tent was full to bursting with them!

20190615_123823Most of the activity tables got moved out from under the tent, which meant we had to locate some shade or create some to keep from toasting our volunteers. They will have to speak to the effectiveness of these efforts! The takeaway is that next year, we will see if we can get two tents!

Though our hours were 12 to 4 p.m., people began coming as soon as we began setting up, and kept coming for the remainder of the day. With seven children’s activities, a butterfly display table, an information booth, a caterpillar crawl tunnel and garden tours, not to mention plant sales, things were humming. Thank heavens for the 36 Master Gardener volunteers who helped to make sure that questions were answered; tours conducted; plants sold; contacts collected; prizes distributed; money collected;
butterfly, bee, and caterpillar crafts made; and all the other things that needed to be done were handled efficiently. Nadine and I thank you all so very much!

20190615_125544I want to recognize Nadine Oswald for taking on the job of coordinating the plant donations. This is a big, big job, and Nadine does it with aplomb, grace, and efficiency.

Thanks, too, to all the volunteers who helped her sort, label, price, tidy up, and transport the over 900 plants that were donated. And to all who donated, please know that we appreciate your generosity and willingness to share, and simply could not do this without you!

20190615_130656The nursery plants also were a nice addition. After sales were complete and donations made to some of our master gardener projects (pollinator garden, butterfly garden, therapeutic gardening venues), there are only about 35 (out of 225) remaining that we will sell in the fall at the Bug Bizarre.

At the end of the day, we were delighted to find that we had 319 visitors (compared to 110 in the fall) and had earned a whopping $1600 (compared to $600). And as we worked together, we got to know each other better, making for a very congenial – and profitable – time!

Scroll through the gallery below to view photos of the Butterfly Festival: