Creating A Butterfly Garden

This article was written by Liz Forsythe for the Green Thumb Nursery Newsletter I defy you to introduce me to a gardener (or just about anyone, for that matter!) who does not love butterflies. Flying artwork, gentle eyesome insects that circumvolve you as you work amongst them, gently alighting upon your shoulder, complementing the hues of your garden with the pulchritudinous markings they wear, these are phantasmal creatures as elusive as a rainbow. It is our duty as guardians of our gardens, to provide them with the necessities they need to flourish.  The mighty Monarch, so frighteningly close to the edge of extinction, needs but a single species of plant upon which it will feed, and lay its eggs for continuation of the species: Milkweeds (Asclepias spp).

Butterflies need the sun to warm them and assist them in getting going in the morning as they are cold-blooded.  So provide a “caffeine assist” by planting Brandegee sage (Salvia brandegeei) which not only will add color to your garden, but which loves hot sun. Additionally, it is a nectar plant for many butterflies. Place a few rocks in sunny spots for butterfly perches; it is far less expensive than radiant heating and just as effective. We are lucky that our weather is highly conducive to sun-loving plants that will also provide needed nectar for the butterflies...