Introduction: 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
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.
Step 2: 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
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
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
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
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
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.
For more Science about this:
Step 8: 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
1. Pig Pen dirt
2. Chicken compost
3. Coast of Maine potting soil
4. Spongy forest floor
Step 10: Add Some Instant Gratification
Choose Perennials for most.
Symmetry. Damn. Not my thing.
But it is a butterfly's.
Step 11: 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.
Plant what you have.
They will appreciate it.
Step 12: Watering Station
They like water.
Especially sweet water.
Copper, rubber, a vessel, and strawberries.
They like their cocktail on the rocks.
Step 13: Butterfly House
They like shelter at night.
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.
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.
And wonder(and enjoy) about the Lovelies of Nature's Pollinators.