Butterfly gardens and their importance

Butterflies are flower pollinators, making them important in the health of our ecosystem. Through pollination, seeds are created. The more seeds are made, the more plants, flowers and trees will grow.

With more greens around, people will enjoy cleaner air, will feel de-stressed and will be healthier.
Studies have shown that the presence of plants in your area reduces your chances of getting a headache and other ailments.

More fruit-bearing plants and trees also mean food security.
Thus, the plan of the Leganes Garden Club to put up a butterfly garden and lovebirds aviary is a welcome development.

The Leganes Garden Club showroom
The club was organized in 2001 under the leadership of Nonito Gulmatico. In 2006, it was registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Currently, the president is Araceli Sulla Tolones.
Tolones said the club conducts trainings in flower arrangement, orchid production, ornamental plants propagation, landscaping and making dish gardens. Its objectives include the promotion of harmonious relationships among the members, empower the growers and develop awareness in community involvement.

The club’s showroom, which is located at the Leganes Plaza, consists of flower and plant stalls of the members. It stands on a 500 square-meter lot awarded by the municipal government.
Recently, the Local Support Program for Local Economic Development and the Department of Interior and Local Government, with the support of the Canadian Urban Institute and other organizations, awarded the Leganes Garden Club P120,000 for its butterfly and aviary project.

Tolones revealed that students visit the club’s showroom daily and learn about flower arrangements and gardening.

To make the tourists’ visit to the Leganes Garden Club more worthwhile, Tolones said they plan to provide them with ready-to-buy and easy-to-carry souvenirs. They will also venture into dish gardening and proper packaging. This will be taken from the P120,000 grant.

From the grant, the Leganes Garden Club will also enhance the site. The bamboo fences and gate will be replaced with steel. To protect the butterflies, the whole area will be enclosed in a green net.
Tolones proposes that the aviary be constructed at the top of the nearby waiting shed.

Araceli Tolones, 
president of the Leganes Garden Club
The improved space for the butterflies and the lovebirds will serve as an educational observatory for tourists.

Tolones shared, “To make their visit fun, the tourists will be taught how to make dish gardens. They will just buy the materials from us and they can take their dish gardens home after. This way, we can also raise funds for the club.”

The butterfly garden and lovebirds aviary are added attractions in Leganes, which was nominated as one of the tourism sites of Iloilo Province. It is hailed as a pilgrim site of the devotees of St. Vincent Ferrer.

Many miracles such as healing from serious illnesses have been credited to the “palapak” that is held after every mass at the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church./

(The writer is an independent online journalist. She recalls that during her elementary and high school days, her mother trained her and siblings how to cultivate the garden at home. Sometimes, she would pretend she’s asleep just to avoid the activity. It was only four years ago when she learned how to take care of plants by herself. ‘If I can’t take care of a plant, it means I can’t take care of a relationship’ is the challenge that the writer posed upon herself. Thanks to that childhood training, the plants are still alive.  Email: katvillalon@gmail.com)

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