4 Easy Steps To Your Own Butterfly Paradise.

As we entered the large farmers market earlier this year, we were greeted by a smorgasbord of color, fragrances, fresh flowers, and plants. The entrance was lined by gardening plants and offerings from local nurseries. 

Inspired to create a beautiful garden we set out to see if we can create a butterfly garden:
  • Our focus - low maintenance
  • Priority - involve kids
  • Time- short weekend project
While creating a plant paradise was certainly not on our list, we discovered that making a small butterfly garden can be done in a few easy steps. 

Whether you have a few square feet of space on your patio, a window box, or a small area of your yard that can be dedicated to butterflies - with just a little effort you can enjoy some quality time outdoors with your kids while creating an environment high on interest and low on upkeep.

The Effect Of Your Environment On Your Home. Garden Of Energy.
According to Denise Linn, author of Sacred Spaces, the environment around your home has a profound affect on the energy of your home (and you). 

If your surroundings are "a symphony of sound, color, scent, and visual stimuli", including vivid reds, oranges, sunny yellows, and large splashes of color, there will be passion, activity, and movement in your home. 

Lavender, delicate blue bells, and softly colored flowers will cultivate a spiritual and serene energy in your home.

Creating a space around your home conducive to life, not just plant life, but all life attracts powerful cosmic life and elemental energies. Birdhouses, birdbaths, squirrel feeders, plants attracting bees and butterflies, all add a powerful and vibrant dimension to your living experience.

How To Plant A Butterfly Garden With Your Kids
Follow Scott and his daughter Lilly in this short video by growing wisdom as they set up a butterfly garden together.

So Where Do We Begin?

The key is to provide the four things butterflies want:
  • Nectar flowers for the butterflies
  • Host plants where butterflies want to lay eggs and to cater to caterpillars
  • Shelter from wind
  • A butterfly puddle
Note:It's important to not use insecticides in your butterfly garden. They will kill the butterflies and their caterpillars

4 Easy Steps To Your Own Butterfly Paradise

Step 1: Plan It
Choose a sunny spot, sheltered from the wind. Decide on your budget, what tools you may need, and set aside a day for it.

Step 2: Choose Your Plants
Select an assortment of bright flowers. Refer to the Butterfly Garden Flowers & Plants by Region guide  Plan on including more perennials (that grow back each year with no effort) as compared to annuals. Check William Moss's low maintenance ideas . You will need:
  • Host Plants: What your local caterpillar (larve) will eat. Two common examples
    • Milkweed - this attracts the Monarch caterpillar.
    • Parsley - this attracts the Black Swallowtail caterpillar.
  • Nectar Plants: These are food for the butterflies. Butterflies like fluffy blooms like leatrice, lavender and Black-Eyed-Susan. A few excellent choices are
    • Lavender - excellent, sturdy, low maintenance will also keep mosquitoes away! 
    • Swamp Milkweed - It also serves as the host plant for Monarch caterpillars.
    • Aster - Asters are a perennial. Butterflies especially love native varieties.
    • Zinnia - this plant is attractive to a range of butterflies and they especially like the tall varieties. It is an annual and is easy to start from seed.
    • Bee Balm - It is a perennial.
    • Heliotrope - this plant attracts a range of butterflies. It will remain a perennial in temperate zones but is only an annual in cold climates.
    • A Butterfly Bush - this is suitable for a Swallowtail. Some varieties are considered invasive, so make sure to prevent seed production if you don't want them taking over your garden. 
(Source: WikiHow: how to create a butterfly garden

Step 3: Make A Butterfly Puddle
Butterflies aren’t able to drink from ponds or bird baths – they prefer shallow sources of water like puddles. So create your garden in an area where water collects after it rains, or create your own puddles around the garden to give your winged friends a place to sip. - See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/garden-types/create-a-small-scale-butterfly-garden#sthash.clFlcLQh.dpuf
Butterflies aren't able to drink from ponds or bird baths, they prefer shallow muddy puddles.  Adding one will greatly increase the butterflies visiting. Here are a few ways to create a butterfly puddle: (Source: Wayfair.com)
  1. Bury a clay pot at ground level. Fill it with sand and water.
  2. Fill a birdbath with sand and water.
  3. Any area where you can have moist sand. The key is keeping the sand moist. Increase its attractiveness by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in the water you use to wet the sand and by adding a small amount of compost to the puddle. Add rocks, twigs, or shells on the top of the sand to create perches for drinking butterflies.
Step 4: Involve Children
Involve children in making selections of flowers and plants. Help them create a list of tools, containers(if using), and plants. If possible take them along when you visit the local garden center or nursery. 

Having kids be a part of the entire process is integral to their experience, self-confidence, and enjoyment of the butterfly garden. Allow them to plant and set up the space with you. Be open to mistakes and imperfections. Incorporate their ideas.

Ready, Set, Plant! Here are a few more butterfly garden planting resources ...
More Butterfly Garden Planting Resources

What has been your one takeaway in setting up the butterfly garden? Let us know how you do on your butterfly garden. Share your thoughts below.

1 comment:

Monica Verma said...

The kids have been very excited as we worked on our butterfly garden this past weekend. We made a list of plants and they got to help pick out their choices at the garden center. They picked out colorful blooms in deep reds, oranges, pinks, purples, and yellows.

We selected mostly perennials that included a butterfly bush, zinnias, daisies, and some asters. We plan on adding lavenders next week. The kids also picked out an LED solar powered butterfly light to add their special touch.

We hadn't seen a single butterfly earlier this season, but even as our plants waited on our porch to be put into ground, we began to see some butterflies hover on these.

Our location is a sunny spot in the front yard that has a good view from our dinning room as well as the porch swing. We had planted only a few of the plants into the ground when the kids got tired. So we decided to work on it a little bit the next day to finish it.

As we have planted them in our garden, we have seen so many butterflies around there. Ever a little hummingbird has been paying a visit!

We are all enjoying watching these delicate beauties flutter around. Each time we are in our dinning area we glance out and see some! It has been a very fun and fulfilling project with the kids that we have all enjoyed.