Archive for April, 2013

7 Things to Remember When Building a Butterfly Garden

Butterfly_Garden_1
A butterfly garden is always a welcome addition to any yard. Butterflies are such dainty creatures that you can’t help but relax just watching them fleet from one flower to another. Creating a butterfly garden for your grounds could be easy—if you’re one for gardening. If not, you can always have a landscaping contractor do the job.

Whether you or a contractor builds the butterfly garden, here are some things to remember:

1.  There are particular butterfly species that are native to a given area, based on the plants that thrive in a state, city or town. Discuss with your landscaping contractor the types of butterflies you want in your garden so you can plan which butterflies to target.

2.  Locate your butterfly garden in a sunny area. These dainty, colorful creatures are cold-blooded—once the sun warms them up, they become more active. Besides, the plants that attract butterflies are almost always sun worshippers.

3.   If you want a diverse variety of butterfly species frequenting your butterfly garden, provide them with an equally diverse variety of plant food. Butterflies have a particular preference for flowers that are colored purple, red, orange, yellow and pink so make sure you have plenty of these in your garden. Ask your landscaping contractor if such flowers as lantanas, petunias, coreopsis, lilacs, milkweed, hibiscus, zinnias, verbena, sunflowers and coneflowers will thrive in your plant zone. Hint: butterflies will always make a beeline for flowers with flat tops and short nectar tubes because it makes feeding quicker and easier for them.Butterfly_Garden_2

4.  If you want butterflies to stick around longer, add host plans to your butterfly garden. Host plants are plants where butterflies can lay their eggs and which the ensuing caterpillar can gorge on before their metamorphosis.

5. Your butterfly garden must have a naturally-occurring windbreak; otherwise the winds will damage their wings and drive butterflies away. If there’s no such barrier, create one with shrubs, large rocks, ornamental trees or fences.

6.  Make sure there’s a butterfly “water cooler” in your garden. It should be wide and shallow because butterflies can’t drink directly from deep water. A birdbath lined with pebbles and rocks will be ideal for this purpose.

7.  There are low-feeding butterflies and then there are high feeding butterflies. Cater to every type of butterfly feeding predilections by planting the tallest plants in the back, the shortest along the edge of the butterfly garden, and the mid-sized plants in between.

If you decide to hire a landscaping contractor to build your butterfly garden, don’t forget to ask for tips on how to maintain it well so that your little, dainty wards will stay.

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