Local Naturalist Delights Garden Club Members

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Photo provided by the author (licensed from Adobe Stock Photos)
Mama robin readies to feed her hungry babies.

“Beyond Birdfeeders” was the topic that captivated members and guests of the Suffield Garden Club’s February meeting. The program was presented by Margery Winters, Assistant Director of the Roaring Brook Nature Center and President of the Simsbury Land Trust. Winters shared practical tips for helping some of our fine feathered friends through the winter months by choosing what to plant in our own backyards during the growing season.

Members could not say enough about Winters’ presentation. “What I learned and never knew before is that you can protect small songbirds from high winds by putting up a roosting house where they enter the side of the rectangular box and perch during strong winds,” said Garden Club President Connie Murray, an especially relevant fact given the cold, brisk winds of February. Member Linda Spanilo added “And a fresh water source is as important as food during the coldest months.”

“I learned so much!” gushed Club Vice President Marie Gauthier. “For instance, I have always loved butterfly caterpillars, especially Monarch and Swallowtail, and I have encouraged them to come with special plants in my gardens. However, all caterpillars are necessary in our gardens, even the critters we try to get rid of that eat our plants. If you want birds nesting in your yard, you need thousands of caterpillars for the hatchlings to eat!”

Presenter Margery Winters manages the Roaring Brook Nature Center’s native plant gardens and is an advocate for the role of natives in our designed landscapes. She is a Master Landscape Design consultant. The Nature Center, located in Canton, is open year-round. Visit their website at www.roaringbrook.org.

The Suffield Garden Club, organized in 1934, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of Suffield. Visit www.SuffieldGardenClub.org.

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