Introduction: Butterfly Garden

Picture of Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are Peaceful Pollinators.

Let's attract them.

Look further to see how I built my Butterfly Garden.

Step 1: Find Sunny Area

Picture of Find Sunny Area

Scope out your area.

Most flowers like lots of sun.

See what area gets the most sun from morning through afternoon.

I have started this far into the season; I've been busy.

Best to do this like I have, at the end of July, when it is 99 degrees.

Maybe not.

Summer Fun!!

Step 2: Clear Area of General Shape

Picture of Clear Area of General Shape

Clear away weeds and stuff with "4-tine fork cultivator".

: )

The area that I cleared away is approximately a ten-by-ten foot area.

My wrists told me just before that to stop.

Yours will tell you when to stop, too.

Listen to them.

Then go just a tiny bit further.

Step 3: Mulch Area to Further Define Shape

Picture of Mulch Area to Further Define Shape

This helps to define the curves of the wings.

Just a 2" layer is more than enough.

This will get raked later into thicker heights where no plantings will go.

And so will serve as its ultimate purpose.

I used approximately a dozen 5 gallon buckets of mulch.

Step 4: Prep Pallet Pathway

Picture of Prep Pallet Pathway

I used just one pallet.

I sliced it in half with a cordless skill saw.

Well, almost half.

One half included the center brace.

The other half I wanted narrower.

I found a spare piece of oak to brace the end.

Step 5: Install Pallet Pathway

Picture of Install Pallet Pathway

The upper, wider segment is the thorax.

The lower, narrower segment is the abdomen.

: )

I then filled in the spaces between the slats with more mulch.

Hopefully this will discourage future weed growth.

Step 6: Seating Area

Picture of Seating Area

The precious papillon needs a head.

A ginormous tree has been cut down nearby.

I roll a segment over.

Just my luck! It has eyes.

I decide to accentuate them.

: )

Step 7: Antennae

Picture of Antennae

Drilling into this old wood is a breeze.

I find two threaded rods and tennis balls.

Our dog Molly just died so we don't need them anymore.

: (

I paint them with black spray paint.

Some rubberized stuff, the only can of black we have that is more than 1/97th full.

: )

Butterflies' antennae work along with sensors on their feet as essential
tools that allow them to find food, migrate, mate and sleep.

Cool. Science!

For more Science about this:

http://animals.mom.me/purposes-butterfly-antennae-...

Step 8: Delineate Design With Mulch

Picture of Delineate Design With Mulch

I rake the innards of the forewings and hindwings.

I want to plant lots of flowers within.

The height of the mulch outline is a good 3-4 inches.

This should deter weeds from poking through.

At least for a while.

Step 9: Fill in Segments With Good Soil

Picture of Fill in Segments With Good Soil

I use:

1. Pig Pen dirt

2. Chicken compost

3. Coast of Maine potting soil

4. Spongy forest floor

5. Seaweed

Step 10: Add Some Instant Gratification

Picture of Add Some Instant Gratification

Choose Perennials for most.

Symmetry. Damn. Not my thing.

But it is a butterfly's.

Add H2O.

Step 11: Prep for the Future(plant Flower Seeds)

Picture of Prep for the Future(plant Flower Seeds)

Perennials are best.

Some flowers are better for attracting the winged wonders.

A link with info on what attracts them.

http://www.butterflywebsite.com/butterflygardening...

Plant what you have.

They will appreciate it.

Step 12: Watering Station

Picture of Watering Station

They like water.

Especially sweet water.

Who doesn't?

Copper, rubber, a vessel, and strawberries.

And rocks.

They like their cocktail on the rocks.

Step 13: Butterfly House

Picture of Butterfly House

They like shelter at night.

Who doesn't?

I made it simple. Used cedar.

They fly in vertically.

Like jets do.

The bottom is removable.

Feed some bark and twigs through the slits.

Step 14: Wait, and Watch.

Picture of Wait, and Watch.

And wait.

And watch.

Maybe a gentle one will land on your leg.

Or just get one painted on for immediate cuteness.

Enjoy a Martini.

Talk to the first Visitors.

(Bees)

And wonder(and enjoy) about the Lovelies of Nature's Pollinators.

Comments

K B (author)2016-07-31

Very nice. And it can become even more exciting. Just had a Monarch come by and leave eggs on my Asclepias tuberosa. Should have little crawlers in about 9 days. Keep mulching - it will make the garden even better in the future.

permie (author)2016-07-26

A butterfly garden in the shape of a butterfly. Very cute!

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