Best Garden

The Elizabeth Danforth Butterfly Garden

Tucked away between Washington University's Hilltop Campus and the South 40 residential complex (specifically, between Stix International House and Blewett Hall) is a hidden little corner of paradise. Since its founding by the Wash. U. Women's Club in 1995, "Ibby's Garden," built to honor former university first lady Elizabeth Danforth, has hosted throngs of butterflies, from monarchs and viceroys to skippers and buckeyes. Amazingly, it seems to draw very few humans, despite the heavy foot traffic on the path that skirts the garden. That, of course, only adds to charm. Shaded from the boulevard by mature trees and secluded amid wildly tall foliage, you can sit there for hours undisturbed by anyone without wings. With more than 40 varieties of native plants, the garden was designed by June Hutson of the Missouri Botanical Garden to supply food and shelter for a shrinking butterfly population, and while it blooms madly all summer, its best attribute is the color in the air.
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