The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks welcomed "butterflies, garden fairies and pixies" -- and their families -- last week for Magical Evenings in the Garden. The garden was open for two hours each evening, and guests for the event were invited to "to wear their fairy wings or costumes, bring picnics and enjoy the garden in the cool of the evening." The evenings were in lieu of the annual Firefly Fling.
There were magic wand-making and shadow puppet stations and other "make-and-take" activities, plus a treasure for the little ones. Various local artists provided live music each evening.
"The garden has reopened to the public, and it's a wonderful time of year to visit! There is so much beauty and color to see in the summertime. Our Butterfly House is also open to guests again, and this is the time of year when it's very busy with native butterflies," Liz Atwell, garden communications coordinator, tells me.
She adds that they've made some adjustments in order to reopen safely, which include: a new admission window where guests check in, instead of coming inside the building; face coverings are required upon entrance; and new operating hours. They're open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, but for now are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Terrific Tuesday Nights continue, however, from 5-8 p.m. through August. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. Restrooms, water fountain, gift shop and building will remain closed.
All guests I saw conscientiously observed social distancing requirements during the Magical Evenings, I promise. Those without masks in the photos only removed them for the instant it took to snap the photos.
A Virtual Butterfly Summer Camp for kids ages 8 to 11 is set for Aug. 3-7. Campers will receive a butterfly kit, including a newly hatched caterpillar, and will learn how to raise a healthy butterfly and grow a butterfly garden.
Virtual classes for adults will be offered this fall. Topics will include vegetable gardening, native plants and making pumpkin succulents.
The nonprofit is hoping to have its 25th annual Greening of the Garden Gala benefit Oct. 1. Atwell says they are still in the planning stages, but the fundraiser is likely to be a blended virtual and in-person event.
"Being a nonprofit organization, we depend upon the support of the community. Whether it's through membership, attending a class or event, such as the Greening of the Garden, or renting the garden, we invite everyone to get involved with the exciting things happening out here!"
Atwell added that the garden capacity for hosting small private events and weddings is up to 300 people. "With six cultivated acres and 12 themed gardens, the BGO is a fantastic place to celebrate a special event, safely."
For more society event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Magical Evenings in the Garden
Who: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
What: ‘Butterflies, garden fairies and pixies’ (and their families) gathered in the garden.
When: July 12-18
Where: The garden in Fayetteville
Next: Terrific Tuesday Nights through August
Information: (479) 750-2620 or bgozarks.org