Butterfly Gardening

April 6th, 2010

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Butterfly watching, like bird watching, is a fast-growing pastime for many people, and the art of bringing these beautiful flying jewels into your own backyard is one to aspire too.  Butterfly gardening means planting trees, shrubs, or flowers that butterflies use for food.  Butterflies are not only beautiful to watch, but beneficial as well, playing an important role in nature.  Without the pollinating work of butterflies and other insects such as bees, our world would be without many of the fruits and vegetables we love.

A monarch butterfly

A monarch butterfly

The more types of habitat you have in your garden, the more species of butterflies you will attract.  Habitats frequented by butterflies include boggy areas, shady areas, sunny flower beds and grassy areas.  Plant your nectar plants in the sun, if you can.  Butterflies generally feed only in the sun.  Try to provide some water by using a birdbath or other shallow container.  Place stones in the bottom of the container and add just enough water to come to the top edge of the stones.  The stones give the butterfly a place to land without getting wet.

GardenMarch10 025Some wonderful nectar plants to try to include in your garden are, violets, oregano, aster, buddleia, cosmos, any of the daisy family, just to name a few.  I also notice that the butterflies in my garden seem to be attracted to the lavender and sweet william, plants that love the sun.   Butterflies also seem to prefer brightly coloured flowers.  Their favourite colours in order are red, orange, purple, pink, blue and white.  Of course, it goes without saying that you should try not to use insecticides of any kind if your want to attract butterflies to your garden. 

Happy gardening.

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