The netting did not go up in 2023
In the fall of 2022, we were ready to present a more ecologically sound garden and environment in the coming year. Dozens of new native plant species were now flourishing, each selected for a specific purpose. By early May, this light-filled garden attracted insects and birds that could navigate freely, no longer inhibited by barriers. Beetles, butterflies, flies and wasps were using the native plants as nature intended, easily spotted along with many other visiting insects such as katydids, hummingbird moths, and praying mantis. Lady beetles and green lacewing insects consumed the aphids and our milkweed was healthy.
The access to the gardens was easier, and the sightlines were improved. Additional signage explained why the net was no longer up, and provided details on plant insect activity. Our team was ready to share this space with our visitors and we started with busloads of students coming to Tyler for field trips. Throughout the season, our visitation increased as people felt free to roam as they pleased rather than entering a dark, confined space, unsure what might inside.