Get Green with Style Blog



Interview with Sue Fox McGovern – Part 1

Sue Fox McGovern interviewed by Hilary Sopata

Sue Fox McGovern is a writer and editor by trade and a naturalist and gardener by passion.  A butterfly gardener for about 10 years, Sue raises several types of butterflies including the Monarch, Red Admiral, Question Mark, Painted Lady, and Black Swallowtail.  She holds open houses in her back yard to teach the community at large about butterflies and encourages participants to take home a caterpillar and raise it.  I personally have benefitted from this inspiring opportunity and learned a lot about butterflies in the process!

Sue cultivates several native plants in her yard to attract butterflies. Using such plants is called “xeriscaping.”  Xeriscaping is considered an eco-friendly way of gardening since gardens with native plants need less care and grow very easily with little to no impact on the environment. 

Plants that some might consider weeds are necessary for butterflies, Sue says. “The Monarch butterfly is totally dependent on the milkweed plant for its life cycle. The Monarch caterpillar will only eat milkweed leaves.” Sue brought milkweed into her yard to help grow the Monarch population since much of their natural habitat in prairies and in other undeveloped areas has been lost.

Sue is eco conscious in other areas of her life, too.  “We’ve started with the small things like recycling and not using paper when we really didn’t need to,” Sue says. “And I try to walk or ride a bike around town if I can. When I have to drive, I try to combine errands and make just one trip. I have my son in a carpool for school as well. And I try to conserve water whenever I can.”  Sue also brings ceramic mugs to serve hot tea to the members of a writers’ group, which she leads so that there is no waste.  “Once you start [going green,] you look for other areas to improve.”

For more information about butterfly gardening, you can contact Sue directly.
Sue Fox McGovern
sfmcgovern@sbcglobal.net

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