Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Create the Perfect Butterfly Garden

butterfliesDo you enjoy the beautiful colors of butterflies? Watching these delicate creatures flitter through your flower garden on a sunny day is a joy for any butterfly lover. Design a butterfly garden and you will soon enjoy these colorful creatures in your yard.

Butterflies are fragile creatures and therefore they need protection from the elements. When you create a butterfly garden, be sure to include adequate protection from the wind, as butterflies require shelter from the wind. Since butterflies prefer to spend their nights high off the ground, adding height to your butterfly garden in the form of hanging baskets, climbing vines or tall flowers, additionally provides them with a nighttime retreat in your butterfly garden.

A good butterfly garden includes a variety of shrubs, herbs, fruit trees, bushes, and of course, flowers. Some shrubs that are popular with butterflies are lavender, buddleia and hydrangea. Herbs that attract butterflies are mint, marjoram, chives and thyme. Popular fruit bushes to include in your butterfly garden are raspberries and blackberries, which provide nectar in the fall.

Often perennial plants only bloom for a certain period during the season. When you design your butterfly garden, plan to put in some annuals to provide your butterflies with food all season long, in addition to summertime color and bloom. Some excellent summer flowers to include in your butterfly garden are marigolds, candytuft and strawflowers.

Of course, perennials in your butterfly garden offer low maintenance gardening for you in plants that bloom year after year, providing food for your butterflies. Some good choices are verbena, valerian and lobelia. When you choose plants for your flower garden, it is important to choose plants that are closest to pure bred rather than hybrid. Sometimes, through extended hybridizing, the original scent that attracts the butterfly can be lost.

Plant your butterfly garden in the sun; butterflies enjoy a warm, sunny spot. Also, be sure your butterfly garden is pesticide free so that you don't harm the very creatures that you want to attract.

Finally, consider including a butterfly feeder in your butterfly garden design. By including a feeder, you'll attract butterflies right away, even as your garden becomes established.