Summer is a wonderful time of the year. Gardening and gardeners is in full swing. Maintaing a garden can takes the place of a weekly work out at your local gym. If you don’t have the time to tend a vegetable garden you might be interested in creating a butterfly garden. Just a few plants along with some interesting garden rocks or lawn decorations make a beautiful addition to any garden. And if you have children they will be entertained for hours watching and identifying the various butterflies it will attract.
The first step is to map out a sunny location for your garden. Most of the flowers listed below require full to partial sunlight for at least eight hours of the day. Next, go to your local lawn and garden store and pick out some interesting garden decorations. Keep it simple so not to distract from the flowers. I find carved stone decorations like frogs, rabbits or turtles are more subdued and earthy. Once you’ve mapped out where your butterfly garden will be it is time to purchase and plant your flowers. Here are five of my favorites guaranteed to attract an array of colorful butterflies.
Dalias: The red yellow Dalia will make a beautiful centerpiece for your butterfly garden. Blooming all summer they are a perennial so you do not need to replant them every year. They will begin to sprout in late April and start to flower in May. They are a sturdy plant and resistant to pests. Since they are a bulb plant you may need to thin them out from year to year.
Marigolds: Marigolds are wonderful for attracting the smaller white butterflies. This flower comes in an amazing variety of colors, from bright orange to pale yellow. They have a rich fragrance and are a natural repellent for rabbits. Easy to maintain and hearty they will keep your garden colorful well into the fall.
English Lavender: Butterflies are very attracted to this aromatic herb. Make certain your butterfly garden is large enough to accomodate this particular plant because it can take over an area very quickly as it is a perennial. However, if you love the scent of lavender it’s a great herb to harvest for closet sachets, potpourri, and soaps.
Purple Coneflowers: This tall beautiful flower attracts a variety butterflies such as tiger swallowtail, viceroy, great spangled fritillary, whites, hairstreaks, blues, skippers. It also provides shade for smaller butterflies.
Lilac Bushes: If you have a large garden plants a lilac bush. This bush attracts the most beautiful assortment of butterflies hands down.
It’s also a great idea to have a water source nearby. Our bird bath provides water for a number of insects such as bees, praying mantis and other helpful garden friends, as well as birds. It’s also a great entertainment source of our indoor cat. Remember to keep your water source fresh by scrubbing it out every evening when the weather is warm. It will keep the water clean and free of organic debris.
Do not forget that wild flowers can be an excellent addition to your cultured plants. Milkweed, goldenrod, wild daisies, corn flowers and Queen Ann lace are very easily acquired and transplant well. You can also purchase wild flower seed packets and grow them yourself.
Deb’s Butterfly Gardens: I grow, maintain and enjoy my own butterfly gardens