This spring, our Rainbow Gardens location is in for a real treat. Every Saturday from about 11AM – 4PM, guests will be treated to expert butterfly and pollinator advice courtesy of Laura Jarvis of The Butterfly Landing. Many of you know the name Laura Jarvis as she was our Event Coordinator in past years. You may have even attended one or more of her classes. If you did, you are well aware of the vast amount of knowledge she possesses when it comes to pollinators, especially when it comes to her passion, butterflies.

Laura has recently turned this passion into a local, small business, the Butterfly Landing, where she grows and sells organic pollinator plants. She specializes in hard-to-find plants that draw in our native butterflies and offer them both nectar for sustenance and hosting for a place to lay their eggs and allow their offspring to feed. (Featured image courtesy: Laura Jarvis, The Butterfly Landing)

Laura’s desire is to get as many people as she can as excited as her to support our local pollinators and to share how to be successful in all your plantings. The Butterfly Landing Facebook page is a great way to stay tuned into the timeline that our native butterflies abide by. Here, Laura offers unique butterfly tips that you won’t find anywhere else. She shares her knowledge freely and the advice you will get is worth its weight in gold!

How The Butterfly Landing Got Started

Pipevine swallowtail butterfly

Laura Jarvis has been involved in the world of horticulture since the 1970’s. It was then that she got a job at a small garden center in Denver and decided she liked the plant world enough to think she might do well choosing it to study in college. After receiving her degree in greenhouse management, she worked years learning all she could about landscape design, patio gardening, combo gardens, container gardening and more.

However, it was a visit to Wildseed Farms, when they had their butterfly house, that sparked her interest in butterflies and the plants that draw them in. Laura and her husband, Bill could not take their eyes off of a gorgeous butterfly with blue wings. They were enraptured and watched for over 2 hours as this little creature continuously visited the same plant over and over. They knew they had to have that plant because they knew they had to have that blue butterfly!

When they tried to buy some they found it was not available. It was a difficult plant to come by. the butterfly curator, Liz Hobbs, graciously offered them a couple snips from this pipevine plant she had growing and they took it home to propagate it, and the rest is basically history! From that little cutting, have come all the pipevine plants that Laura has grown and sold (including the ones the Happy Gardener has in her garden and now propagates too) . That is pretty amazing!

This little plant made Laura realize the need for more hard-to-find, yet necessary, pollinator plants that are specific to certain butterfly species. Now, this is what she specializes in. The Butterfly Landing searches all over for these species of plants to make them available to homeowners wishing to create butterfly gardens.

It was a few years ago when Laura was enjoying the frequent activity of butterflies in her garden that she was able to look around in awe and realize that her own butterfly garden had turned into a true butterfly habitat. It had truly become The Butterfly Landing, a safe haven for butterflies and their caterpillars, and a nature educational center.

Gulf Frittilary on Duranta.

Of course Rainbow Gardens will miss her daily presence, as Laura now has limited hours at our store, but we are grateful for the time we receive (remember we get her every Saturday, 11-4!). We are however happy to have her as a growing resource for these amazing plants, and we know she is in the exact spot she needs to be now, and that is as owner and operator of The Butterfly Landing.

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy