Work by Jason Somerville

Where Lions and Butterflies Mingle

April 23, 2002


Daniel High School, home of the Lions, is located in Clemson, South Carolina. Every year the senior class tries to do some type of project for the community or the school. This year, the senior class wants to create a memorial to those people that were lost and will be missed at the school. At the high school there is a courtyard that is being devoted to the design of the memorial and also to the design of a butterfly garden.


There is already a small memorial in the courtyard. It consists of a Bradford pear tree and a stone plaque/memorial. An idea that they already developed was that of a fountain in the middle of the courtyard. In addition to using the courtyard as a memorial, there has been shown interest in having an outdoor classroom in the courtyard, as they don't currently have any. This design was designed around the idea of the memorial and fountain in the center of the courtyard and incorporated the themes of butterflies and outdoor spaces.

This design left the fountain in the proposed location and used a similar wall and sidewalk around it. The design was inspired by a project carried out by Oregon State. In this project/study they built some of the school's buildings without building any sidewalks. They let the pedestrians walk to and from the buildings in the directions that they wanted to go. As time went on, paths started to develop in the grass, and then they knew exactly where to make the sidewalks. Incorporated into the design was the creation of a butterfly garden. It used plants that would provide vegetation (food) for the larvae and flowers (nectar) for the adults. Around the fountain in the design was left open spaces that could be used for classroom games and activities as well as outdoor class sessions in the proposed outdoor classroom.


The plants used in the design were mostly picked for their attractiveness to butterflies. There are plants that are hosts to the larvae of butterflies, such as fennel, veronica, and geum. Other plants in the design attract the adult butterflies; they include butterfly bush butterfly weed, candytuft, tickseed, blue beard shrub, and others. The flowers bloom at various times depending on plant from spring to frost, extending the flowering season, and thus ensuring a long season of butterflies. Not only do the flowers attract butterflies, but they also attract humans. They are all aesthetically pleasing and some have a pleasing fragrance. The blooms of the flowers bloom in spring and fall, both times when students and faculty are at school. There are also annual beds that can be planted to provide flowers when other flowers have ceased to bloom.


All the plants are suited to the conditions that would be found in a typical enclosed courtyard, such as dry conditions and heat. The plants will do fine as is, but installation would not hurt them, either. They all reach a mature height and spread that will fit into the design. The will need little to no maintenance. A majority of the plants are natives and therefore have little or no pest/disease problems. These attributes, as well as others, help to lower the maintenance costs and time.


The design provided the need of a space to serve as a memorial with the fountain and surrounding beds and benches, a butterfly garden with the flowering beds for adults and larvae, and outdoor classrooms with the seating wall at one end of the courtyard. People can sit in the courtyard and morn, admire the butterflies and/or flowers, and have an outdoor class.


This design is an excellent form of a senior project. It provides many attributes to the school and meets many of the students and faculties needs. With proper care and slight up keep this design should serve its clients and purposes for years to come.