Butterfly Garden in Jambalaya Park

Patti Mouton / Special to the Weekly Citizen
The Butterfly Garden at Jambalaya Park in Gonzales is situated between the fountain pool and the Children’s Spray Ground.

The Gonzales Garden Club created a garden in Jambalaya Park in 2004 with the permission of former Mayor Johnny Berthelot. It has evolved from shrubs and perennials into a pollinators’ paradise. Currently, plantings in the lower bed are irises, blue mistflower, aquatic milkweed and luna hibiscus. The raised bed has been newly planted with zinnias, purple evolution salvia, yellow lantana, tropical milkweed, swamp milkweed, and sunflowers. A vigorous Peggy Martin climbing rose bush is spreading along the fence at the back of the bed along with a healthy young morning glory vine. Next year’s growth shows even more promise with the team’s recent plantings of so many baby perennials in this project: tutti-frutti butterfly bush, verbena, Stokes aster, penta, echinacea, bee balm, penstemon, Mexican flame vine, Brazilian fuzzy sage, and hyssop.

Many garden club members have helped with the park bed in years past. A total renovation of the bed been in the fall of 2017 when all the old plants had to be removed. Helpers included Ellen Richmond Posey, Allen Posey, Weezie and Nolan Cashat, Gwen and Steve Heck, Conchita Richey, Janis Poche, Barbara McCormick, Jamie Trisler, Cathy Venable, Janis D’Benedetto, Priscilla Monson and Sandy Stewart. The bulk of this season's garden renovations was inspired by the GGC Garden Chairman Mary Jo Pohlig. She and her team propagated the plants, amended the soil, set in the transplants, then mulched and watered it to life.

Appreciation goes out to Louisiana Nursery in Prairieville for donating 15 pounds of fertilizer and to Lowe’s Home Improvement in Gonzales for donating a day of labor, ten bags of compost and discounts on needed maintenance supplies. Many thanks go out to all the garden club supporters who made purchases at the club’s annual plant/bake sale fundraiser in April. Proceeds from that event are used to maintain the garden for the public’s enjoyment.