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    butterflies

    Attracting Birds to your garden!

    I enjoy sitting on my patio watching a listening to the multitude of birds and butterflies that visit my garden.  The best way to do this is with a variety of plants.  Here are just a few that will attract birds and butterflies to your home!

    Trees provide shelter as well as food sources for the birds.

    Quercus, the Oak trees, provide nice cavity nest sites for many birds.  When the acorns develop they also provide a food source for several species of birds, like the  Downy woodpecker.

    The fruit of the dogwood species, Cornus, is loved by Titmice, Cardinals and Blue birds to name a few.  It also is a quick growing shrub that would easily provide screening for you and shelter for birds.

    Serviceberry or Amelanchiers are one of the first tree species to bloom in the spring.; providing a nectar source for the early butterflies.  But that’s not all, in mid June the trees are filled with luscious fruit favored by many birds.  You’ll see Robins and Cedar waxwings gobbling them up!

    Amelanchier berries

    Flowering perennials are your source for nectar lovers like Hummingbirds and butterflies.

    Echinacea, Coneflower, provides nectar for butterflies and is a great seed source in fall/winter for Goldfinches and other songbirds.

    Echinacea and Butterflyl

    Asclepias isn’t called Butterfly weed for nothing!  Butterflies, particulary the Monarch love Asclepias.  It is a host plant for the Monarch’s caterpillars.  Birds will also use the soft downy feathers as nesting material.

    Monarda, Bee balm attracts Hummingbirds and butterflies.  This plant is super easy to grow!

    Monarda, bee balm.

    Solidago or Golden rod is a fall bloomer.  There are a multitude of butterfly species that are attracted to Golden rod!  The seeds are also a favorite of Goldfinches and native sparrow species.

    A water feature will also ensure that the birds and butterflies will hang around your property.  Birds need fresh water and a place to bathe!

    Fountain, water source for birds and butterflies.

    Now these are just few samples of plants to help you attract birds and butterflies to your garden.  Want to create that perfect butterfly garden or add more plants for birds then contact us and we’ll get you on your way to a beautiful animal sanctuary.

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    How to create your own butterfly garden!

    Butterflies, pollinators and nectar feeders will love a garden of mixed masses of flowers.  Here are a few popular choices to attract butterflies to your garden.

    Allium

    Allium (early bloomer) Is a spring bloomer, so a great source for the first of the butterflies returning to the areas.

    Asclepias

    Asclepias spp. (summer bloomer) Known as Butterfly weed, this one is a favorite of all butterflies.

    Buddleia

    Buddleia (summer bloomer) With a name like Butterfly bush you are sure to find all kinds flocking to this one!

    Echinacea

    Echinacea (summer bloomer) The coneflowers daisy like flower attracts all sorts of pollinators.

    Monarda

    Monarda (summer bloomer) Known as Beebalm, it also attracts all kinds of nectar loving insects and birds.

    Rudbeckia

    Rudbeckia (summer bloomer) Black eyed susan is another great source for butterflies and pollinators.

    Helenium

    Helenium (late bloomer) Sneeze weed is a late bloomer and extends the season for the butterflies.

    Eupatorium

    Eupatorium (late bloomer) Joe Pye Weed is a late bloomer giving an extended season for the butterflies.

    As your garden grows keep an eye out for some of these common Midwestern butterflies!

    Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) can be found in most sunny places including moist fields, prairies or marshes. Red Admiral caterpillars eat plants of the Nettle family.

    Red Admiral

    Red Admiral

    Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) closely resembles Monarch Butterfly but acts much differently; they are territorial and will chase off other butterflies and fly by flapping rather than gliding like the Monarchs. Viceroys are usually found in wetlands and prairies with willows. Viceroy caterpillars feed on Willows, Aspens and Cottonwoods.

    Viceroy

    Monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars eat a strictly Milkweed diet which makes them poisonous to predators (birds know to stay away from Monarchs!).  The Monarchs are the most common butterflies you will see as they flutter through your garden.

    Monarch

    Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)  caterpillars eat Thistle, Mallow, Hollyhock and related plants. An interesting bit of trivia, they are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

    Painted Lady

    Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) likes sunny places with weeds and flowers, and can be found in gardens, vacant lots, old fields, pastures and marshes. Black Swallowtail Caterpillars eat Parsnips, Wild Carrots, Celery, Parsley and Dill.

    Black Swallowtail

    Eastern Tiger Swallowtail  (Papilio glaucus) are most commonly found in woodlands, fields, rivers, creeks, roadsides, and gardens. Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars eat Prunus, Sweet Bay Magnolia, Tilia, Liriodendron to name a few.

    Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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    Bringing nature’s beauty to the garden.

    Pollinators (butterflies, bees and birds) are very important to our environment.  Without them many plants would not produce the end products we use.  But they also bring a sense of calm and enjoyment to the garden.  We all want that beautiful butterfly to come to our gardens, planting food sources for your inhabitants is a great way to get them to the garden.  Here are a few great plants to include!

    Asclepias tuberosa, if you want Monarch butterflies in your garden you must plant this plant (a main food source for the caterpillar)!


    Echinacea spp. is a great for summer bees and butterflies and a good seed source for birds in fall and winter!

    Rudbeckia spp. great for butterflies and bees and a seed source come fall and winter for the birds.

    Lavender’s, Salvia’s and Nepeta’s all have a similar type of flower loved by all nectar feeders!

    Phlox spp.  This Phlox has a hummingbird moth visiting it!

    These are just a few examples, there are many more excellent plants to include in your garden! Want us to create the perfect Butterfly garden for you?  Contact us now!

    Be sure to include some water sources for you wildlife and you’ll get that added bonus of tranquil water sounds in your garden. Butterflies and bee’s prefer water and rocks.  While birds enjoy more open water.

    granite millstone fountain

    Want to see more water features? Check them out here.

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    The birds and the bees and butterflies too!

    nestCommuning with nature is a great way to spend the evening after a long day of hard work and relax. The best gardens are those that are wildlife friendly! Here are a few tips to make your landscape a more welcoming environment. Birds of all species need various nesting sites. It’s good to have a variety of trees, shrubs and evergreens. Even an old dead tree can fit into your landscape to invite woodpeckers and nuthatches to nest. Butterflies need nectar sources, host sources (for the caterpillars) and shelter. And all living beings need water, a great way to attract more wildlife is to include a water source.

    Here’s small list of plants to entice the birds, bees and butterflies!

    Trees and shrubs for birds:
    Serviceberry (amelanchier)-the birds love to gobble up the berries in the spring!
    Hawthorn (crataegus)-great protective tree for nesting and produces berries for a food source.
    Colorado Spruce or Norway Spruce (picea)-A great protective nesting site for birds (as with most other evergreens).
    Red/Black Chokeberry (aronia)-another great food source for birds.

    Butterfly garden plants:
    Yarrow (achillea)
    Columbine (aquilegia)
    False Indigo (baptisia)
    Butterfly Bush (buddleia)
    Caryopteris
    Tickseed (coreopsis)
    Delphinium
    Coneflowers (echinacea)
    Bee Balm (monarda)
    Penstemon
    Sedums
    Goldenrod (solidago)

    A small pond or fountain makes a great open water source.

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