Claire Hagen DoleClaire Hagen Dole, as a child, lived with her family on ten acres of fields, woods, and wetlands near Seattle, Washington. This property (and land adjacent to it) was later donated to the state and made into a park. "I spent my childhood idling by the creek or looking for trilliums in the woods," says Claire. "Early memories of dragonflies and swallowtails, the sounds of frogs at night and bumblebees on summer days, continue to influence my writing and gardening aesthetic."
And what is her aesthetic? "I have never felt comfortable with trim lawns and bark-filled flower beds," she opines. "They are resource-intensive, offer nothing to wildlife, and are boring!" Growing plants that attract butterflies, on the other hand, is something that always excites Claire—allowing her to combine her two passions in life: natural history and organic gardening (butterflies are extremely sensitive to pesticides).
Claire now lives in the city, but her herb garden is abuzz with bees and other pollinators, and her pond attracts many birds and dragonflies. Bumblebees have made a nest in a pile of decomposing turf. On summer afternoons, Claire loves to sit quietly under a pear tree and watch for winged visitors, camera at the ready.
Claire is the publisher/editor of Butterfly Gardeners' Quarterly, a newsletter for gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts, which can be viewed online at http://butterflygardeners.com; for more information, write to Butterfly Gardeners' Quarterly, P.O. Box 30931, Seattle, WA 98103. She has also written articles for Organic Gardening, Country Living, Sierra, Wild Garden, Hortus West, and other publications.
ArticlesButterfly Gardening in Fall
Inviting Caterpillars Into Your Garden
Curbside Gardens—Transforming Your Hell Strip
Zinnias—If You Plant Them, Butterflies Will Come
Milkweeds—Easing the Plight of the Monarch Butterfly