People who like to garden also tend to enjoy watching butterflies flitting about. After all, butterflies are simply as pretty to look at as the flowers they visit. Gardeners can lure even more butterflies to go to their gardens by producing gardens especially for butterflies.
It’s quite simple to make a butterfly garden. You might even realize that you grow some flowers that attract butterflies. With only a little effort you can produce a gorgeous haven for these beautiful winged creatures, and the butterflies will appreciate your efforts.
If you are starting from scratch and will be creating a new planting bed for your butterfly garden, you will first need to know how to correctly make a planting bed for your plants. You may locate advice on preparing raised planting beds in freeplants.com
When deciding where to locate your butterfly garden, pick a spot that’s not isolated from other plants. Butterflies will be more inclined to discover your garden if there are additional flowers nearby to direct them to a butterfly garden. But if your butterfly garden is the only patch of flowers in a vast sea of grass, butterflies will not have much reason to be in the region. If you’ve got a border of flowering shrubs and other butterfly-enticing plants are scattered around your lawn, the butterflies are more inclined to spend some time in your garden.
The butterfly garden should have many different plants that attract butterflies, and those plants should be in various colors and heights. Consider planting azaleas, rhododendrons and lilacs for height. Fragrant’James McFarland’ lilacs appear to be particularly attractive to butterflies. Weigela, with its blossoms like yummy trumpets, is another fantastic shrub for attracting butterflies.
No butterfly garden should be without Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Not only will the glowing orange blossoms attract many butterflies, but the plant will also provide food for caterpillars. Without the caterpillars there are no butterflies. Άνθος and parsley also offer food for butterfly caterpillars. If you are lucky, you might even have Monarch butterflies laying their eggs on the milkweed and you can watch the whole life cycle, from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.
Many other commonly grown flowers will attract butterflies, such as hollyhocks, purple coneflowers (Echinacea), Black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia), cosmos, huechera, zinnias, beebalm and cleome. Buddleia, also known as butterfly bush, is essential in any butterfly garden. For those who have room for this huge plant, Mexican sunflower (tithonia) will attract many butterflies and hummingbirds with its glowing orange blossoms.
Plan your butterfly garden so that there are blooms all season long. The rhododendrons, azaleas and lilacs will offer a spring bite for butterflies, followed by summer-blooming plants like the buddleia and asclepias. In the autumn, butterflies will sip nectar from asters and ‘Autumn Joy” sedum.
Besides providing food for butterflies, your butterfly garden should also give a resting place together with shelter from the cold and wind. Include flat stones in your backyard where the butterflies can sun themselves. It’s even better if the stones have shallow depressions where water will float and offer a place for butterflies to collect for a drink.
A little log pile will offer shelter from the weather for butterflies. You can even purchase butterfly shelters which look rather like tall, narrow birdhouses with different slots for entrances. These can attract butterflies, but in my experience wasps tend to proceed, discouraging any butterflies from penetrating.
One final thing that each and every butterfly garden should include is a cozy bench set where you can sit and admire the gorgeous butterflies. After all, you have created this garden not just for the butterflies but also for your own pleasure.
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