Gardening is a wonderful pastime that creates beauty outside our homes as well as enchanting flowers and plants to decorate inside our homes. If we add the extra element of butterflies, those flying jewels, to our gardening efforts, all the better. This article will give you a couple of basic butterfly gardening plans and some tips to get you started attracting and adding butterflies to your garden.
You probably have heard it before but perhaps the easiest way to begin your butterfly gardening plans is to simply check out what type of plants and flowers attract butterflies in your local area. Take a walk about your neighborhood and see where the butterflies alight. What flowers and plants in your neighbors’ yards have butterflies flitting around them? Where nature still rules with wild plantings, what plants have butterfly caterpillars crawling on them? Which ones do the butterflies draw nectar from?
Do you see females laying eggs on certain types of plants? Those are host plants for the butterfly caterpillar to eat and grow up on till they are ready to become butterflies. To keep butterflies in your own butterfly garden, you will want to include some of these.
Next keep a sharp eye open for the nectar plants the adult butterflies use. If you are lucky enough to find they enjoy your favorite flowers, rejoice.
More than likely you will find your butterfly gardening plans should include an area where you allow the local native plants a chance to grow. Perhaps you can tuck it away in a corner where the neighbors just won’t see if you are unfortunate enough to live where your yard must comply with certain rules. Just be sure the area has a sunny spot as butterflies like lots of sunshine to warm and get them flying every day.
Now if a wild bit of native plants just won’t fly, then you can still provide some plants that will attract butterflies and add them to your butterfly gardening plans. Be sure your garden also includes a water source, sunshine, shelter, nectar plants and host plants for the caterpillar.
One basic plan could include such plants as lilacs, butterfly bush, Sweet William, zinnias, marigolds, phlox and aster. Or you might want to try the combination of sedum, Rudbeckia, some different mints and, of course, butterfly bush again. If you can grow it, butterfly bush is the standard plant to be included in any butterfly gardening plan.
Copyright, 2006 Sandra Dinkins-Wilson
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