Dear Gentle Readers,
I am sharing with you a part of my garden I don't share with many people. The rest of my garden rooms are neat and organized and have seating for quiet contemplation.
No so in the butterfly garden. The first few years, it was beautiful with a shallow birdbath centered on pavers with a stone walkway and trellised plants. Beautiful, but no butterflies!
Today it is this jungly, wild-looking raised bed that is humming with activity. We've had paperwhites and yellow sulphurs. We've even had yellow swallowtails. But we're gearing up for the Monarchs now. Monarch traffic has been down to just casual visitors this year, but I'm hoping for a better August-September.
Here is what I've figured out so far:
1. They like that overgrown environment. It allows protection from the elements.
2. I use NO chemicals.
3. The swallow birdbath needs to be hosed out daily and only needs a tiny bit of water for butterfly recreation (wink).
4. Milkweed is a must. I haven't had much luck with seeds, but a ride in the country with a bucket and a shovel works great!
5. I set out pieces of ripe fruit in a glass dish high up off the ground.
6. Buddleia and other butterfly-specific plants are a must, but they also like parsley and lavender.
Have a great day.