by | Oct 12, 2021

Beverly House, right, shows Lendonwood visitors the four Monarch chrysalises she brought to the garden from the Wichita area.  The cocoon-like chrysalises were suspended in a mesh box for release when they transform into butterflies.

Beverly House, left, shows off one of four Monarch butterfly chrysalises to Lendonwood Gardens volunteer Sydney Mosburg.  House brought the chrysalises from her home in Kansas, three hours away, when she learned about the garden’s Monarch Waystation.
Lendonwood visitors learn about the life cycle of Monarch butterflies from Beverly House of Belle Plaine, Kansas, right, who brought four chrysalises to the garden for their next phase of development.  Lendonwood is home to a certified Monarch Waystation, designed to help increase populations of the threatened butterfly.
Beverly House of Belle Plaine, Kansas, secures a mesh box holding four Monarch chrysalises along a fence in Lendonwood Gardens.  The four cocoon-like chrysalises survived an evening thunderstorm, thanks to their protected location.
One of four Monarch chrysalises hangs by silky threads in a mesh cage transported by Beverly House to Lendonwood Gardens.  She drove three hours from her home near Wichita, Kansas, to bring the chrysalises to Lendonwood’s Monarch Waystation.

There are not many people who would drive three hours to deliver four butterfly chrysalises to give them a better chance at survival, but Beverly House of Belle Plaine, Kansas, is passionate about the threatened Monarch butterfly.


On Sunday, October 10, House arrived at Lendonwood Gardens with her precious cargo installed in a mesh box, each chrysalis hanging by silky threads – days away from morphing into a beautiful Monarch butterfly.  She had collected the butterfly caterpillars near her home and carefully watched their transformation into green chrysalises, the last phase before becoming butterflies.

The problem, House said, was there were few nectar plants in her home area for the resulting Monarchs to prepare for their long migration to Mexico.  She searched the internet for areas further south that might be possible habitats.  She considered gardens in Oklahoma City, but when she saw that Lendonwood Gardens had a Monarch Waystation, she started planning a road trip to Grove.

“It made a difference to me that Lendonwood’s website featured the new Monarch Waystation,” House said.  “I just felt they would have the right habitat for these beautiful butterflies.”

On the evening following delivery of the chrysalises, a thunderstorm hit the Grove area, toppling a tall oak tree in the garden and ripping hinges off the front gate.  Nevertheless, the chrysalises remained firmly in place in their mesh box secured to the garden’s fence.

Lendonwood installed its Monarch Waystation in 2020, supported with a grant from Grove Rotary Club and donations by garden supporters.  Now certified by the national Monarch Watch, the Waystation includes several varieties of milkweed, the only plant eaten by the butterfly’s caterpillars.  The garden also includes a wide range of nectar plants, including zinnias, mint, marigolds, blanket flowers and more, to support all types of butterflies.

While visiting Lendonwood, House enjoyed the garden’s tall oaks, Japanese maples, and other plantings. Along the way, she picked up a few bulbs from the plant sale rack. House plans a follow-up visit soon to see the colorful fall foliage.

“I’m looking forward to coming back,” House said. “This is a special place.”

Lendonwood was designed by founder Dr. Leonard Miller, who donated the garden to a local non-profit organization in 1997. The botanical garden is operated by a 19-member Board of Directors, who donate hundreds of hours each year toward its maintenance.

Lendonwood Gardens is supported by volunteers, memberships and contributions.  The garden is open to the public year-round, from dawn to dusk.  Botanical highlights include major collections of azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies, hostas, peonies, Japanese maples, dogwoods, and many other plants and trees.  The garden has become a popular rental venue for outdoor weddings and other special events.

For more information about Lendonwood, see the garden’s website at www.lendonwood.com, or call 918-786-2938.