Thursday, August 4, 2011

Westfield's Secret Treasure

Above: Taking a lunch break during the ‘Westfield in Bloom’ tour America in Bloom judges Billy Butterfield and Melanie Riggs, Williams Nursery owner, Dave Williams, and DWC intern, Sarah Hoffman, join Diane Genco in her fully bloomed garden.

The 2011 Westfield in Bloom tour, which took place August 1-2, incorporated aspects of both the downtown and residential areas. With this year’s theme of “Attracting the Butterflies”, it was most appropriate to show the judges where the inspiration originated. Diane Genco, whose backyard is a registered Monarch waystation, opened her home to the tour. Her maze-like garden offered a surprise around every bend. As you wander into the depths of the seemingly never-ending garden, exotic plants, flowers, and trees surround you as beautiful butterflies flutter overhead.

Nevertheless, the true treasure harbored within the garden lay no bigger than a speck in plastic boxed containers. With efforts to fill not only her backyard but the entire town with the beautiful creature, Genco raises, tags, and documents the lives of Monarch butterflies. After daily inspections of plant and flower leafs (where monarch eggs are found) Diane collects the eggs and protects them in a plastic container. Additionally, she sprays the eggs with a special disease resistant chemical to keep the butterflies healthy.

With over 250 species, butterflies serve our environment in many ways. Therefore, the protection of these magnificent creatures is essential. Aside from pollination, they are also good indicators of ecological quality of a habitat. In the larvae phase, they are an important part of the food chain. These butterflies also serve as pollinators for Westfield’s plant life. The presence of these butterflies throughout town is aesthetically which flutter joy throughout the town.

A true treasure, Diane’s monarch waystation brings a unique factor to the town. Her gardening expertise and magnificent backyard (and front yard!) garden left the judges in awe. Her hard work and extreme dedication was something we were very proud to show off.

Thank you Diane for opening your home and exhibiting some of the fabulous work you have done!

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