It’s Monarch Award Time

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Gardens are bustin’ out! Get out there, take some photos (or use some from last season) and apply for a Monarch Award. The deadline is June 21– only ten days away. It’s free and easy to apply.

Volunteer judges visit shortlisted applicants in July and August to evaluate the garden based on six criteria (info here: and to give feedback, encouragement, and suggestions.

If your garden is headed in the right direction but not quite ready for a full Monarch Award, you may receive a Caterpillar award. Beginner gardeners, new gardens, and tiny gardens are good candidates for this special designation.

Read more about the Monarch Awards at

photo of baby bird in nest
Baby birds cannot digest seeds. They need squishy protein in the form of caterpillars and soft-bodied insects. These insects evolved with native plant species and recognize them as food. This is why native plants, including native shrubs and trees, are so important.