Eden's garden

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Creating a butterfly garden

Bring your garden to life by making it a habitat for butterflies that will bring beauty and more life to your surroundings. Can you imagine your garden area being filled with activity and excitement as we watch some of nature’s beauties in their natural habitat

So what does it takes to construct a butterfly garden?.

Constructing a butterfly garden can be lots of fun not only for adults but it can also be a fun activity for kids as well. As they learn about the different features and plants that it takes to make our gardens inviting to our colorful friends.

 Planning your garden

Sunny location

 In order to construct a butterfly garden, you will have to put a well thought out plan in place. For example, choose a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. In nature, butterflies natural environment we would see them at times resting on a plant in the sun, as a result of doing this they are raising their bodies temperature in order to be able to fly. So a sunny location is a must if you are to experience success.

1. Choose host plants for your garden. Host plants can be considered as larva or caterpillar food.

You will need to plant the right type of plants in order to invite butterflies into your garden where they can lay their eggs. These are some of the plants that you can choose so that their young will be able to have a food source.The kind of plants that will attract them are classed as HOST plants. We will be looking at a few of them just to get an idea of what to plant.

Milkweed

This is a good host plant that will satisfy your garden friends with its beautiful orange flowers.

Parsley

Not only can parsley be used to garnish or decorate those many delightful meals that we prepare but caterpillars take a delight in them also. So be sure to add some to your garden.

Violets

With its beautiful multi color, this flowering plant makes the ideal food source for caterpillars. Violets are considered to be weeds as beautiful as they are. Plant some for your garden friend. They will enjoy it.

Black cherry

Black cherry is also a favorite of caterpillars. Caterpillars feed on both the cherries as well as on the leaves.

Coneflowers

Coneflowers also provide a good food source. This is a beautiful plant with its purple flowers.

These are just a few of the many host plants that we can choose for our butterfly garden.

2 .Nectar foods

These are some plants that butterflies are attracted to and these are their food sources.

Choose plants that contain nectar.

Lantanas

 

Lantanas are beautiful plants that have a nice fragrance. Lantanas are known to be climbers because they can run somewhat like vines. This flowering plant comes either in straight color orange, white, or milt-color as shown in the photo above. Using these flowers can give your garden a rainbow effect. Soil should be somewhat moist. So give this flowering plant a place in your garden.

Marigolds

Marigolds are another plant that butterflies love. The flower of these plants can either be orange, yellow or mixed color. Soil should be moist not water logged. Make this plant a part of your collection.

Geraniums

Geraniums are very beautiful with their many bright colors. Their colors can either be white, pink or dark pink. The leaves and stems of geraniums are very delicate so care should be taken when handling this plant.

Petunias

Petunias come in an array of colors as shown in this photo. These beautiful plants are very delicate so care should be taken when handling them. Mixing these colors in your garden will give that colorful added touch. Soil should be somewhat moist and allowed to dry out a bit between watering. Your little garden friends will enjoy these plants.

Portulacas

Portulacas are also a great food source for your butterfly garden. This plant runs like a vine and is used in many landscape garden designs as a ground cover. This flowering plant has beautiful small showy flowers to lighten up your garden.

The list can go on and on but these are just a few of the many plants that you can use in your butterfly garden. You can check your nursery for more choices on which plants are advisable for you to use.

3. Provide a water source

Your garden will also need a water source for your colorful friends. A few bird baths or a few small plastic containers can work. Place them throughout the garden.

4. Flat rocks

You will need to provide resting places for butterflies to rest on like a few flat rocks. Remember the goal here is to make the garden as natural and as inviting for our butterfly friends.

5. Create a puddle station

All this entails is simply using a large shallow bowl. Fill the bowl with sand and add water to the bowl. The sand must be moist at all times. Add two tablespoons of compost, chicken manure, stale beer also add a few stones where the butterfly can sunbathe. This puddle station is not only for the butterfly to sunbathe but as the male butterfly drinks this water it will encourage them to mate. It is butterfly love potion.

N.B. Consider adding a few slices of apple on your rest areas for feeding purposes.

Use of pesticides

Never use pesticides on a butterfly garden. In the event a pest situation arises in the garden, just use a garden hose to wash them off. The pressure from the hose will kill the pests or they will drown in the water.

Final words

Creating a butterfly garden can be very gratifying but please be aware that you cannot attract butterflies that are not naturally in your region. Nor can you plant plants that are not native to your region. Find out what plants and butterflies are natural to your region and incorporate them into your landscape design. As long as you follow the steps that I have shown you are bound to have success.

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