Starting with a Butterfly Garden Plan
Gardening all by itself is a fascinating endeavor. Add to that the flying flowers we call butterflies and you have an extra dimension to your gardening. But where to start with your butterfly garden? How about a basic butterfly garden plan or two?
First and foremost, perhaps the best way to decide upon your butterfly garden plan is to simply take note of the plants that butterflies in your vicinity happen to like. This may require a walk about the neighborhood to find the plants that adult butterflies like for their nectar. Also pay attention to the plants that the butterfly caterpillars like to eat. These will generally be the same as the ones the adult female lays her eggs on. Both are needed in your butterfly garden plan.
If you are lucky enough not to be in an area with rules about how your yard looks, you might simply wish to let a small section return to the native plants of your area. After all, these are the plants that originally drew, fed, and protected the butterflies of your region.
However, if you are not so lucky to be able to pull that off, you may want a basic butterfly garden plan or two. A general gardening design will provide shelter, nectar and host plants, water and places for the butterflies to bask in the sunshine. All are important.
To provide wind shelter, place taller shrubs or trees toward the prevailing winds of your area. Preferably these will be evergreens or flowering shrubs and trees. Then add other flowering plants in descending height down to an area that contains a water source. It’s a good idea to have the water source surrounded by sand or light-colored rocks for the butterflies to bask on.
You may wish to think of your butterfly garden as a bowl with the water source and surrounding basking area in the center surrounded by flowers and flowering plants working their way up in height. Of course leave an entrance to your “bowl” on the side away from the prevailing winds.
Some good plants to include in our basic butterfly garden plan are lilacs, butterfly bush, Sweet William, zinnias, marigolds, phlox and aster. This should be good for attracting butterflies from April to August depending upon your area.
Another set of plants to include in your butterfly garden plan is the following: sedum, Rudbeckia, different mints and, of course, the butterfly bush. Just think of butterfly bush as being the necessary component of just about any butterfly garden.