Autumn at UBG 2016



Oregano October 1, 2016

October 2016

Summer has just slipped by, and it’s time for a general pruning and fall cleanup at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden. Digging out all the goldenrod always seems an endless task in itself. Then the Korean Lilac must be protected from the deer because they just love eating all the flower buds in the spring; we must mulch with straw between the shrubs, and many other things, – so much to do, so little time!


The chief gardener for this year is Jessah Hodgins, and many of you will have met her. Just when it looked as though summer was well and truly over Jessah pointed out a Red Admiral 2 days ago. A very nice surprise. We also have seen a pair of Mockingbirds in the garden for the past week, they are very quiet and shy; busy eating the Elderberries and other fruit.

The major task this summer was completing all the new panels on the kiosk. We were lucky to get a Trillium Grant which covered the costs, because it would have been quite beyond our means. Michelle Sharp took almost all the photographs and did the design – what would the Garden do without her?

The Awards Ceremony for the Photo Contest took place on September 24 at the Air Force Club. The award winners are posted on this web site here  or under UBG photo competition drop menu. The photos are terrific and if you have not seen them already you will enjoy looking at them. Next year the Photo Contest will run for a longer period, beginning in Mid June and ending in early September.


Monarch hiding in Gooseneck Loosestrife October 1 2016

The good news for the fall is that Jessah is going to be the chief gardener again next year, plus she will be taking on additional tasks, such as keeping the web site up-to-date, helping with the Educational Programme and running the Photo Contest. Michelle will take photos once every week or so through the winter, and we shall be posting them, to give us a boost through the long months ahead.

Look forward to seeing you all next year!



Urquhart Butterfly Garden Kiosk – Updated!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation the old panels on the UBG kiosk have been replaced with colourful new ones.  The beautiful eye-catching new panels have been designed by Michelle Sharp who also took almost all the photos.

Click here to see more!


The UBG's newly updated kiosk

The UBG’s newly updated kiosk

Welcome to the UBG 2016 Season

Great Spangled Fritillary July 9, 2016 Photo by Michelle Sharp

Great Spangled Fritillary
July 9, 2016
Photo by Michelle Sharp

Welcome to the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, in 2016!

This year we hope to once again be hosting a Summer Programme on Saturdays during August and September, as well as a Photo Contest from mid July until the end of August. We will also be publishing more brochures on specific subjects; continuing the revamp of the kiosk; starting new plantings and new signage. We will update you all on our progress as it happens.

At the moment we are just waiting for the rain to stop for a few days so we can begin our Spring cleanup. However, before we move into complete Spring mode, we thought you would like to see some photos taken during the winter and early 2016, these are posted on the site and all were taken by Michelle Sharp.

UBG 2015 Photo Contest

The Awards Ceremony for the 2015 Photo Contest was held on Saturday September 19th. There was a  slide show of all the photos which were entered into the contest, followed by a showing of the winning photos as the photographers names were announced.  We packed the Air Force Club and everyone had a good time and is looking forward to next year’s contest!
Award winning photos can be seen here
Thank you and congratulations to all the entrants and winners!

Herbs & Birds: Plant & Herb Lore & Bird Calling: Joanne Tunnicliffe Saturday September 12, 11am

Join Joanne Tunnicliffe, expert Gardener and Outdoor Educator in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden’s final event of the 2015 Summer Series.  This event is particularly suitable for kids, so bring them along!

Joanne has a wealth of knowledge about the herbs and wildflowers which grow abundantly throughout the garden. In the presentation, she will discuss the qualities of the plants and the relationship that occurs between the plants and other life forms.

Joanne’s presentations are both enlightening and informative, engaging people of all ages. She is especially known for her exceptionally realistic bird calls that garner responses from nearby birds.

The Guided Walk takes about an hour and begins at 11am on Saturday September 12. 

The workshop will proceed in rain or shine. In case of rain, the workshop will be held in the Hamilton Airforce Club, adjacent to the garden.

Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification Walk: Matt Mills Saturday September 5, 11am

Experienced naturalist Matt Mills returns to the Urquhart Butterfly Garden for a final Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification Walk of the UBG’s 2015 Summer Series.

Past walks have been enlightening and have yielded sightings of magnificent butterflies such as the stunning Great Spangled Fritillary, a butterfly not commonly seen in the garden.

Although the summer is coming to an end, there are still many beautiful and fascinating species residing in the garden. Don’t miss out on this final opportunity to experience the garden to the fullest with Matt’s leadership.

The Guided Walk takes about an hour and begins at 11am on Saturday September 5.  Please bring a chair.

If it rains the walk will be cancelled.

The Summer Series is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Pollinators Great & Small: Making the Community a Pollinator Haven: Dr. Peter Kevan & Dr. Vernon Thomas, Saturday Aug 29, 11am

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is excited to announce a free workshop held in the Garden, “Pollinators Great & Small: Making the Community a Pollinator Haven” led by pollinator and pollination biology experts Dr. Peter Kevan and Dr. Vernon Thomas. The workshop will take place on Saturday August 29 at 11am.

Peter Kevan and Vernon Thomas, accomplished professors from the University of Guelph, will share valuable information about the essential work of pollinators. They will discuss the numerous types of pollinators, their contribution to agriculture, the threats they face, and more.

Learn why it is important for the whole community to be committed to pollinator projects, and find out what an individual can do, without even owning a window box!

The garden is bustling with pollinators, flying to and fro – don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to see and learn all about the vitally important pollinators from two of the world’s leading experts.


This workshop will be a powerpoint presentation and talk held inside the Airforce Club, adjacent to the Butterfly Garden,  plus a brief walk through the Garden.

The Summer Series is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification Walk: Matt Mills Saturday August 22, 11am

Join accomplished naturalist, Matt Mills on an enjoyable and informative Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification walk, proudly hosted at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.

Matt’s positive energy and confident leadership continue to engage those that attended the walks he leads through the Urquhart Butterfly Garden’s Summer Series.

The very warm weather is expected to bring rare migrant butterflies, and the garden is already humming with life, yielding sightings of species both familiar and new to those that frequent it.

The Guided Walk takes about an hour and begins at 11am on Saturday August 22.  Please bring a chair.

If it rains the walk will be cancelled.

The Summer Series is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

UBG Photo Contest Update: Contest Open to Photographers of all ages!

There are many junior photographers who are under 10 years of age and, due to demand, the Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest is now open to this younger age group. The photos must be taken without assistance from adults, however, adults may assist with the identification of species and entry information, for the under 10’s. First prize in each category is $25.00 cash, plus there will be 2 Honourable Mentions. Prize money has been donated by an anonymous  donor.

For the under 10’s the categories remain the same as for other age groups: Butterflies & Moths; Insects Spiders & Bugs; Birds & other Wildlife; Plants & Flowers.  Two photos can be submitted in each category.  Photos must be taken from the paths of the Butterfly Garden.

Good photos mainly require an interest in the subject and sophisticated equipment is not necessary.  Most young people have cell phones now, and are adept at using them to take photos.

Photographers of all age groups are reminded that photos must  be taken from the paths.

The contest ends at midnight on August 30, 2015