Thursday, May 23, 2013

How to make a Butterfly Garden

Last year, I asked Cole if he wanted his own garden (I'd meant vegetable garden) and he said yes, he'd like a flower garden. It later evolved into a butterfly flower garden.
 
This spring, I finally got around to it.
FIRST, we picked a location along this fence. I read a bit on this website. And it said that butterflies need to be in the shelter of something like a woodpile, to protect them from strong winds and such.

 Then I spray-painted the curvy edge of the flower bed (and I wheeled the lawnmower out of the shed to be sure it would fit between the big green frog sandbox and the flower bed). I used plastic edging and tent pegs to create the border of the flower bed and then I dug up all the dirt.
Some of the dirt I chopped up and turned upside down and put back into the flower bed. Some of it, I mixed with the mushroom compost my son and I retrieved from the secret location north of Burlington.

 On Mother's Day, I got a gift card for a local garden centre and while my husband distracted the kids by wheeling them around in a cart, I took my time and selected some butterfly-friendly plants. Some of these plants I picked just because they looked nice. The butterfly-attracting flowers all seemed to be green with purple flowers. I didn't want the whole garden to be monochrome, so I picked a white coneflower instead of a purple one (which may or may not attract butterflies) and a red-leafed coral bell plant (which was not on my list of butterfly-attracting vegetation either).
 

 This site seems to think coral bells might attract butterflies after all.
I only picked it because I love the red leaves and the cute little bell-shaped flowers.
 
 Asters were on the list.
 Lavender was on the list, but even had it not been, I would have bought it.
It is just so beautiful.
 Here's my coneflower, which, as I mentioned, may not actually have the butterfly-magnetism of a purple coneflower. Time will tell.

 At the garden centre, the lady called this "butterfly bush".
Also known as Buddleia or Blue Chip Lilac.

 Mark loves ornamental grasses. This one was for him.
And if butterflies like shelter, maybe this will be just perfect for them.

 I covered the flower bed in some mulch my neighbour gave us when they dug up a stump in their backyard.

 
And one final note: The Canadian Living website did mention that although butterflies are all pretty, some of the caterpillars that are the precursors for certain types of butterflies may not be welcome guests in your garden. A little bit of caution may be necessary.
 
Happy Planting.
~Miss Greenish Thumb~

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Miss Greenish Thumb,
My dad planted a "butterfly" bush 2 yrs ago and it has not only grow in huge proportions, but it has also most definitely attracted butterflies. It's the pride of my dad's garden & now on my list of plants to transplant from his garden to mine :)

Good luck!
Beth