Tryon Depot Garden designated an International Monarch Waystation

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 27, 2018

Tryon Depot Garden has recently been awarded a Monarch Butterfly Waystation designation and will be listed in the International Monarch Butterfly Waystation Registry.

Depot Garden chairman Denise Barthold and the team of Jack Carlock, Jane Darby, Linda Lovelace and Jackie Burke have worked diligently for several years to plant and nurture native annuals, perennials and shrubs in the sun garden, with input from John Vining, head of Tryon Parks Department. The garden now qualifies as a place that creates, conserves and protects monarch habitat in downtown Tryon.   

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to overwinter in Mexico.

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Their migration is increasingly threatened by habitat loss. The insects need both milkweed host plants for their larvae, food sources and shelter for breeding, and nectar for the fall migration.

Milkweed and nectar sources are declining, primarily due to land development and the use of herbicides.

The Monarch Waystation designation is awarded to gardens that intentionally plant and nurture milkweed and nectar sources for monarch and all butterflies. The plants at the Depot Garden include recommended plants for monarch waystations east of the Rockies.

Plants include Butterfly Weed, Phlox, Daisy, Goldenrod, Aster, Cosmos, Violet, Purple Coneflower, Joe Pye Weed, Scarlet Sage, Tithonia and Zinnia. Shrubs include Butterfly Bush, Native Rose, Spicebush and Blueberry.

These plants all provide food for larva and butterflies.

The Depot Garden, located at the corner of Pacolet and Depot streets, is part of the Tryon parks system, and visitors are welcome. The current building replaces the original Tryon Depot, used when the train was active in the area.

The Tryon Garden Club has maintained the garden in front of the depot since the 1940s.

An International Monarch Waystation sign is now installed in the garden, which garden club members said they hope will reminds visitors of the need to conserve habitats and nurture area butterflies and encourage visitors to create their own monarch habitat.

– Submitted by Lucy Brannon