My love of nature and all things green began at a young age, but time spent raising a family and working in medical research and IT left just a small amount of time that I could devote to biology. Only after we moved to a home with several acres in Morrow, OH and I retired from the corporate world did I find time to once again focus on plants, pollinators, ecology, and conservation. I gradually found my love of nature being renewed, starting in my own backyard.
I believe it was my mom’s joy of gardening and designing beautiful floral arrangements that instilled my passion for flowers. A couple of years ago I began cultivating flowers for their beauty in earnest, first with heirloom peonies and then gradually increasing to a vegetable/cut flower and herb garden, several beds of annual and perennial flowers, two wildflower patches, and a Monarch Waystation, with lots of help along the way. And the restoration of native plants and variety of cut flowers still continues to expand!
We don’t grow enough flowers to even be regarded as a micro-farm, but we do raise Monarchs and consider them to be tiny livestock! My family and I collect Monarch eggs and small caterpillars (1st and 2nd stage instar), provide food, shelter, and water, raise them to be healthy adult butterflies, and then release them back into our wild backyard. Farming begins early spring when the Monarchs migrate north into our area and continues until mid fall when the Monarchs start their long journey back to overwinter in Mexico.
Backyard Blooms Farm is our outdoor laboratory, sanctuary, and home. We are excited not only by the beautiful flowers that come from working the land but also about the positive impact restoring habitats have on the pollinators that visit our backyard. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you here and also on Instagram (@backyardbotanist).
Thanks for visiting!