Welcome to Monarch Lover, a website hosted by Heather Rayburn of Asheville, N.C. For the past nine years, I have worked at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville (BGA), a 10-acre paradise dedicated to the conservation of plants native to the Southern Appalachians. I created this page to share the cool things that I see at the BGA. Gardening organically and exclusively with natives is a pretty radical mission for a public gardens, although it shouldn't be.
I'll explain why. I'll also let you know where to buy native plants, and I'll share what I've learned about gardening to attract and support pollinators, with a particular focus on the Monarch butterfly. Over the past two decades, the monarch population has plummeted by 90%. Monarchs aren't the only insects in trouble -- our entire food chain is under severe stress due to multiple issues. As an individual, I can do my part to help in my yard -- and that's mainly what this website is all about.
I've got plenty of book recommendations, too, tailored for those interested in Western North Carolina ecology. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section.
P.S. This website is sponsored by Ben Gillum, Realtor at Keller-Williams, my husband -- and my own special little butterfly.