May 17, 2008

Creating a Butterfly Garden

Butterfly GardenIf you love butterflies, you can have fun creating a butterfly garden that will attract butterflies of all species. They’ll rely on your garden as a food source and you’ll enjoy these beautiful creatures through all phases of their lives.

Butterfly Lifecycle and Anatomy

In order to understand how to create a butterfly garden, you should understand butterflies in general. They begin life as an egg which hatches into a caterpillar. The baby caterpillar eats its egg shell as its first meal and then begins feeding on the plant where it hatched. These worm-like caterpillars grow, molting or changing their skin about five times, until they are ready to become pupa and finally become an adult butterfly which emerges from the pupa casing.

Adult butterflies have mouth parts that are like long coiled tubes which, when filled with blood, extends into the flower so the butterfly can drink the nectar or other liquid such as life-sustaining water. Butterflies smell through their antenna and use this as a means of locating food sources.

Planning Your Butterfly Garden

Different species of butterflies perfect different types of nectar from different plants. To attract the most butterflies, plan your garden with an abundance of different blooming plants. Select flowering plants that will bloom at different times of day and different times of the season. Plant the flowers in clumps rather than single plants so the butterflies can easily spot the plants they crave while in flight, helping them locate your garden.

Flowering plants to include in your butterfly garden are aster, black eyed Susan, butterfly weed, day lilies, goldenrod, hibiscus, lilac, lavender, marigold, butterfly bush, daisies of all varieties, phlox, azalea, coneflowers, rosemary and verbena. Plant the flowers in arrangements that please you and that can be easily seen so that you can enjoy watching the butterflies from your window or garden seat.

Because butterflies, like all creatures, require water to survive, provide a water source in your butterfly garden. This can be a bird bath, fountain or another type of water feature. Not only will the butterflies thank you, but the birds and other creatures that have a difficult time locating water sources at some times of year will also thank you.

Sit back and enjoy your accomplishment as you enjoy a cup of your favorite drink and watch the [butterflies]that come to your beautiful garden. You’ll enjoy both the gorgeous flowers and the butterflies, too.

Filed under Garden Design by landscapeliving.
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