butterflies

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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