Saturday, September 14, 2013

Visit to Hershey Gardens

by Carol Kagan, Franklin County Master Gardener
Hershey Gardens
Since this weekend was the last for the Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens and the weather was fantastic, we headed out Friday. The gardens are only 1 ½ hours away and well worth the trip.There are over 23 acres of garden including a beautiful Rose Garden of over 3 acres started in 1937.
Only a few of the 5,600 roses of 275 species
Areas include ornamental grasses, Japanese garden, herb gardens, Native American, rock garden, nut and oak groves, and arboretum. The extensive Children’s garden has many interactive stations, hideaways and a hedge maze that is so much better for youngsters than the challenging commercial corn mazes. 
Ornamental Grasses
We headed to the Butterfly House first and spent over an hour, mostly with me chasing butterflies around or patiently waiting for the Malachite butterfly to get warm enough to open its wings. My favorite was the Malachite, beautiful on the underside with wings closed. I’ve included an Internet picture of it open. Oh, I wish I could have waited.
Malacite with wings closed
Malacite with wings open (from the Internet)
Others that I enjoyed were the Julia (Dryas iulia Fabricius), native to south Texas, Florida and Brazil,
the Great Southern White (Ascia monuste), native to south Texas, Florida and Gulf Coast,
Great Southern White
the Zebra (Heliconius charithonia), official butterfly of Florida,

Zebra butterflies feeding on brown-eyed Susan seed heads
the Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa), native to Central America but obviously enamored of my blue pants that day,
Mexican Bluewing
the White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae), native to the southeastern U.S. and Central/South America,
White Peacock
and the Atala (Eumaeus atala), native to Florida, the Bahamas and Cuba, and like the Malacite, refused to open but was beautiful when closed. It is their smallest butterfly.
Atala with closed wings
Atala with open wings from Internet
A fun event coming up is the Pumpkin Glow nights in October, geared toward kids 12 and under, costumes and flashlights encouraged. Over 150 illuminated pumpkins throughout the garden and floating. Check the link below for more information. There is also a Bonsai exhibition from October 10 to November 10.
Here’s a sampling of flowers currently in bloom.

For more information about Hershey Gardens

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