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Butterfly Gardens

Over the last few months we’ve been making progress in our garden and it’s been fun! Our first tomato just grew in a couple days ago, it was so exciting!  We’ve got flowers planted throughout the garden and As we make progress in the garden, Emilia plays with butterflies.  We planted a few really bright and colorful flowers in different parts of our garden, and it’s been awesome to watch the lovely splashes of color fly through… 

Making a butterfly garden to encourage different butterfly varieties to visit your home is a relatively simple task. Butterflies are quickly losing their habitat due to the continuous construction of roads and houses, so providing them with a place to live and breed is an environmentally friendly idea.

The first thing you need to do is research a little about which butterflies are native to your area. Finding out what kind of butterflies are native to your area and plant the types of plants that they prefer, usually purple, yellow, and blue flowers. Plant your garden in mid to late summer, when the butterflies are most active.

Different butterflies like different nectars, both in color and in taste so plant numerous types of flowers and shrubs to encourage them all. The more varieties of plants you include in your garden, the more species of butterflies you’ll have. Many plants that attract butterflies include Asters, Blackeyed Susans, Marigolds, Purple Coneflower and numerous others. It will be easy to fill your garden with butterfly favorites. Flowers with multiple florets that produce nectar are ideal and annuals are a good choice as they bloom throughout the season providing a continuous supply of food. Once you know which butterflies are indigenous to your area, go to the local garden center and load up on the plants sure to attract them.  A great resources is http://www.thebutterflysite.com/gardening.shtml

Plant the garden in an area that is open and sunny and be sure to include flat stones for butterflies to bask upon.  To best attract butterflies, plant your garden using groups of colorful flowers as butterflies are very nearsighted and larger groups of flowers will be easier for them to see than singles. Place taller flowers at the back of the garden and smaller, shorter plants at the front.  A good butterfly garden includes plants that provide food for both butterflies and caterpillars, as well as a place for them to lay eggs.  Snapdragons and nettles are good examples of larvae food and leafy plants and trees will provide food for caterpillar forms. In addition, attract butterflies by including places for females to lay eggs. They prefer small sheltered areas with protection from the wind.  Consider supplementing with a homemade feeder. Simply take a small jar and drill a hole in the lid. Plug the lid with cotton and fill the jar with a solution of one part sugar to nine parts water. Attach brightly colored fabric to the feeder to make it more attractive to the butterflies and hang it, inverted, in a tree near the garden.

For butterfly and caterpillar plants, check out this website, http://butterflywebsite.com/butterflygardening.cfm

Butterflies cannot drink from running water so consider including a drinking source.Butterflies love puddles. To make a permanent one, bury a bucket to the rim and fill it with your choice of sand or gravel. Then fill the top with liquids like water, stale beer or sweet drinks and place small stones or sticks in the area to give butterflies a place to perch. To further encourage butterflies to visit your garden, place small pieces of overripe fruit that has been allowed to sit for a few days by the puddle. They won’t be able to resist these sweet treats making your garden the favorite in the neighborhood.

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yurtmanI live in a little sustainable minded yurt village in western NC near AshevilleView all posts by yurtman →