Chelsea Botanical Gardens has a long-running appreciation of and relationship to the monarch butterfly.

We have hosted seven successful, much loved annual butterfly pavilions; however, the plight of the

monarch is cause for deep concern. Because of this concern we did not hold butterfly pavilions, our major

fundraisers, in 2015 or 2016, and will maintain our relationship with monarch butterflies in other ways.


Supporting and Protecting Monarch Butterflies and Bumblebees

 This spring Chelsea Gardens will once again promote Monarch Watch's nationwide effort to create local way stations, or small gardens, to serve as monarch butterfly habitats. Way stations provide the resources needed to nurture monarchs through their four stages of life during summer months and to send them safely on their migratory routes in the fall. Waystations can be created at schools, in home gardens, parks, zoos, along roadsides, and in any other unused land. They can be as simple as a few milkweed and nectar plants.

This year we also support Pollinator Partnership to raise awareness of the decline in some bumblebee species, pollinators of so many of our important food crops. Both bumblebees and monarchs require pollinator plants for survival. While their habitats differ, habitat loss is common to each through the widespread use of herbicides and urbanization, among other forms of land and climate alterations.

Chelsea Gardens offers 400 free packets that include a Monarch Waystation brochure, and Bumblebees are Essential brochure, and a package of annual and perennial pollinator flower seeds. The seeds were donated by Charles C. Hart Seed Company in Wethersfield, CT. Packets are available at Smith Acres Farm in Niantic, Burnett's Country Gardens in Salem, Otis Library and Dixie Donuts both in Norwich, and Hart's Greenhouse & Florist in Norwich, Brooklyn, Canterbury, and Preston.



We thank all who supported our 2016 campaign to save the monarch and  look forward to working with you in 2017 to safeguard both the monarch and bumble bee by providing them sound, healthy, and nourishing habitats.

         Enjoy photos from previous butterfly pavilions, and links to educational videos below.

The Wonder of it All



                                   Chrysalises and emerging monarchs

In answer to frequently asked questions about butterflies, we recommend the following videos, the first for young children, the second for older children and adults.

The Life Cycle of The Monarch Butterfly

The Complete Life Cycle of The Monarch Butterfly


Knowledge of the lives of butterflies can transform a visit to ANY butterfly pavilion from simple admiration to a deeper understanding of these spectacular, ephemeral insects and of the plants and flowers they need to survive. 


Photo by Rick Crootof

Fifth Annual Butterfly Pavilion

Fifth Annual Butterfly Pavilion