What is butterfly gardening? Simply put, butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden.
Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats, rethink your plans because attracting these lovely insects to their death would be a shame.
The design of your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Specific points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow.
Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.
It is essential to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library.
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some sort. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.
When planting your butterfly garden, be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds.
Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don’t want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures.
Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, daylilies, and lavender.
Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy.
These colors have a more significant impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.
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If you want to add ground cover such as creeping thyme or alyssum to your garden here is a great way to get started early and a fabulous way to create instant borders without the backache of having to plant each flower.
Measure the area you want covered with ground cover. Let’s say you want to create a border along an existing garden that is 10 feet long. Cut newspaper (about 2 pages thick) into two feet long by one foot wide strips. To cover 10 feet you will need five of these two foot strips.
Place the strips in a slightly sunny area but where the seeds won’t be disturbed or pelted with rays of light, such as basement shelving near a window. Place garbage bags on the shelves then add the newspaper strips. Do not overlap strips.