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All Eyes: Butterfly garden photos from Times photographer Jim Damaske

A lady bug hunts down aphids on a milkweed. No pesticides are used on the butterfly garden and recently 600 lady bugs were released to combat pests.
A lady bug hunts down aphids on a milkweed. No pesticides are used on the butterfly garden and recently 600 lady bugs were released to combat pests.
Published Aug. 25, 2015

Tampa Bay Times photographer Jim Damaske visited the Florida Botanical Gardens on a recent Thursday morning, where a volunteer work crew (some are Master Gardeners) work in the newly expanded butterfly garden located on the Children's Trail. The garden has been expanded to 8,000 square feet, making it one of the largest open butterfly gardens in Florida. The trail includes fairy houses (small wooden structures) for the butterfly chrysalises, artwork, and musical instruments for the kids to play. "And the wonderful thing is it's free," said Liz Pearson a volunteer who designed the new garden area. The garden is pesticide free and recently lady bugs were released in the garden to combat aphids. Pearson says the garden is home to ten species of butterflies that are breeding there and another ten species have been visiting the garden, giving visitors the potential to see a variety of butterflies.

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Posted by Times photo archivist Tim Rozgonyi