If you have children with interest in gardening, the perfect one to start with is a butterfly garden. Butterflies are intriguing for the young and the old. As their populations have declined due to various threats, it’s an excellent idea to create a butterfly garden in your backyard to enjoy these beautiful creatures. I love sitting in our garden first thing in the morning; it is so peaceful watching all the butterflies & hummingbirds dance amongst the flowers.

Have Children Map Out the Garden

Your child can play an active role in creating your butterfly garden. To get started, this handy Butterfly Garden Flowers & Plants by Region gives you a list of the butterflies popular in your area. There are over 300 species of butterflies in the U.S., so you want to get it right! It also provides a list of the best flowers and plants to use in your butterfly garden. What your child can now do is map out your garden around your current garden or create a new area in your yard. This is not only fun but helps them establish planning techniques.

 

Diversify Your Flowers

Some people prefer planning perennials and letting that be. It’s an easy choice but only allows for a few blooms for a few short weeks. However, for a butterfly garden, plant annuals as well to ensure your butterflies have enough nectar all season long as they bloom throughout spring and autumn. You want to give butterflies the most luscious choice of flowers in your garden to attract them all year.


 

Create the Perfect Habitat

You can create the perfect butterfly habitat by giving the butterflies a beautiful, safe environment to live in. Butterflies love sunbathing! So they should have plenty of areas in their garden to rest on while being protected from the wind. The wind can be harsh to their delicate wings. So place plenty of stepping stones, feeding jars, and mud puddles around for them to enjoy.

Your butterflies will make this their home if there is an environment to lay their eggs and for their caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult life stages. This means you need a variety of host plants (the food the caterpillars will eat). Bushes and trellises are also a great addition to the garden. These provide an excellent shield against the wind.

 

Setup a Feeding Area

Another way to attract and keep butterflies in your garden is to have a separate feeding area. In addition to flower nectar, butterflies enjoy a sugar and water mixture.

  1. Collect small jars.
  2. Drill a hole in the top of the jar, enough to thread through a piece of cotton.
  3. Fill the jars with nine parts warm water and 1 part sugar.
  4. Thread the cotton through the top and screw the top on.
  5. Have your child decorate the jar lid and around the jar with colorful fabric paper.
  6. Hang it upside down in your yard so the butterflies can feed off the sugar water from the cotton ball.
  7. Butterfly Mud Puddle

 

Another great thing about your kids creating a butterfly garden with you is that they can learn how butterflies get their nutrients from a variety of sources. Butterflies love mud puddles. They get their water and nutrients from the soil. Creating a butterfly mud puddle is yet another great way to keep the butterfly’s lingering in your yard longer. Mud puddles are simple to create, and here are a few ideas:

  1. Burry a pot in the ground and fill it with sand and water.
  2. Fill a small fountain with sand and water.
  3. Set out a small dish, fill it with sand and water, and decorate it with twigs and rocks. The butterflies will use this to land on and drink their water.

 

With proper planning and imagination, you and your family can create a beautiful butterfly garden for all to enjoy.

Check out these great resources on how to create your Butterfly Gardens!

Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Watch Your Garden Come Alive With Beauty on the Wing (A Rodale Organic Gardening Book)

The Butterfly Garden: Creating Beautiful Gardens to Attract Butterflies

Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic In Your Garden

Butterfly Gardening for Texas (Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series)

 

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If you do not have an outside space here are a few fun ways to create a garden indoors.


Author: andreaw

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