What could be more relaxing than watching a beautiful, graceful butterfly alight on a brilliantly colored flower?
It's easy to attract these wonderful insects with a few tips for planting and maintaining the right plants. Take a little time in the beginning to make sure your visions of beauty come out just the way you want them to.
Designing a butterfly garden is like having a blank canvas, the possibilities of what to include in your design are endless. As fun as the design aspect is, you'll need to do a little homework first. Before you begin your butterfly garden, find out which species of butterflies are in your area. Consider taking an exploratory hike in a nearby park or nature center with a butterfly identification book.
This may take a little extra time and effort, but the results will be worth it. After you put together a list of local butterfly species, write down what these particular species of butterflies use for nectar and food plants. This is the start of your design, getting the right plants.
Once you know what plants you'll be using, it's time to design. Be sure that your garden is in a location that provides at least six hours of sunlight per day. Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and thrive where they are warm and sheltered. Wind can be a butterfly's worst enemy so be sure to have plenty of wind protection in your design. You can plant tall shrubs and other plants in order to create a wind break, but a location that avoids heavy winds is even better.
An ideal butterfly garden would be on the sunny side of your home, with windbreaks wherever the prevailing winds come from in your area. Try and locate your garden close to a window so you can view the butterflies from indoors but make sure you have a comfortable spot for viewing outside also.
Once you draw out your plan with enough space for each plant, head to your local garden center or mail order catalog. Plant at the right time for your area and you'll be enjoying your efforts in no time (along with quite a few butterfly friends).
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