The Esther Woodruff Memorial Butterfly Garden – “Esther’s Garden” – is on the grounds of the 1771 House at 725 Worthington Ridge. It was established in July 2018 with butterfly friendly plants donated by Esther’s family.
Esther Windom Woodruff (1933 – 2017) married Willis Woodruff in 1954 and together they raised their four sons in the little house with the magnificent grounds. Esther, a second grade teacher, would collect monarch butterfly chrysalises and share them with her classes and neighborhood children. It was a wonder for all to see the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis, pump up its wings and begin to fly. In 1989, Esther visited the monarch butterfly Mexico migration destination, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Preparation and planning for “Esther’s Garden” was led by Society member Heidi Kropf. It required tree removal, soil amendment and edging. Within a week, the newly planted butterfly garden was filled with dozens of Monarch caterpillars.
“Esther’s Garden” is edged with brick salvaged from the old Kensington Grammar School and the historic Prentice House walkway. The center pump is a donation from Kensington Congregational Church. The pump had sat on the front lawn of KCC’s parsonage for many years in the 20th century.
This spring, a woodland garden was planted adjacent to the butter garden providing a shady retreat to watch the many pollinators at work in “Esther’s Garden”.
On June 1, the “Esther’s Garden” sign was unveiled. Shown with the sign is Heidi Kropf, the lead gardener.