Planning a butterfly garden

I got the word this weekend we had enough vegetables and not enough flowers in our garden beds so got the idea to start a butterfly garden. Upon telling my 6 year old daughter she got very excited and started talking how we can charge admission for people to see our butterfly garden.

There are two ways to get butterflies in your gardens, provide nectar to eat and/or give them a great environment to lay their eggs. If you remember your grade school science classes those eggs turn into caterpillars which depending on what else you have in your vegetable garden this might not be exactly the pest you want to encourage to inhabit your garden. If that is your situation I would recommend only planting the nectar attracters. After carefully investigating what caterpillars eat by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar from cover to cover I decided my risk should be minimal if we have our butterfly garden on the other side of our yard away from our strawberries.

To attempt to get the butterflies to lay eggs, we bought Snapdragons and Daisies. To provide butterflies with tasty nectar we picked out Black-eyed Susan, purple coneflowers, zinnias, and nasturtiums, Lavender, Daisies (as well), and Mint. We are also planning on creating a butterfly feeder by taking a small jar and drilling a hole in the top. Put some cotton snuggly in the hole and fill with solution of 1 part sugar to 9 parts water and cheap butterfly (or hummingbird) feeder is ready for visitors.

Will keep posted with progress on the butterfly garden and I anticipate the butterfly feeder will have plenty of “decorating” involved. If you want something that might look a little more attractive in your garden you might want to take a look at the commercial butterfly feeders.
Read Other Butterfly Garden Posts

5 Responses to “Planning a butterfly garden”

  1. Jane Marie Says:

    I like your cotton and nectar in a jar. Good idea. My butterflies hang around the plants by my pond and moving water. I’m sure your daughter will enjoy this project. Good Luck.

  2. Aaron Jewett Says:

    Do you have any pictures of you homemade butterfly feeder?

  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    No pictures yet since we haven’t started the project yet, still a month or two before it will be warm enough to see any. Will definately post pictures when we finish it.

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