No pesticides or fertilizers. Garden is cut down in early to mid March over 1-2 days and used as mulch -- this is 95% of the annual maintenance required. Water 1-2x per year in late summer or autumn as a precaution for new seedlings. Leave garden up for winter to protect plants, add moisture, provide homes for overwintering wildlife.
It began as an obsession and simply finding any plant that would work in dry to wet clay -- until I discovered monarch caterpillars. Then I researched native plants and now garden for wildlife, especially insects, and not so much for myself. This means a deeper connection to place and a proper land ethic... gardening is many times more rewarding and the aesthetic appeal comes from the life supported and flying around in the garden. Garden selflessly!
Research right plant for right place. Never trust or rely only on plant tags. Consult multiple sources like The Xerces Society, Pollinator Partnership, Missouri Botanical Garden, USDA plant database, etc. Get plants grown locally from local genotype seed if possible because genetic diversity means more biodiversity. In 2010 I raised 200 monarchs, 2011 it was 150, 2012 down to 25, and 2013 down to 5. Garden selflessly!
The Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.