Butterfly Gardens : Build Your Own Butterfly Garden
Brightly colored butterflies fluttering in the garden evoke feelings of joy and fancy in any person who beholds these delicate creatures. The sight of butterflies floating carelessly in the air may trigger childhood memories of chasing these majestic “flying flowers” across the family yard or bring about a greater appreciation of life as a never-ending cycle of change. It is this pursuit of beauty and awe, many times coupled with a strong commitment to nature conservation, which drives many gardeners high wycombe to build their own butterfly garden s. Have you ever considered making your own butterfly garden ? Butterfly gardening is an easy, enjoyable and rewarding pastime that, aside from shining a kaleidoscope of flying colors in your garden, also allows you to do your part in helping preserve natural wildlife habitats.
Identify butterfly species native to your area
The first step in making your own butterfly garden involves conducting an informal survey of butterfly species that are native to your area. Knowing what types of butterflies are local to your area will help you determine which flower and plant varieties these butterflies are attracted to and should be planted in your butterfly garden. Sunny spaces and woody patches in the neighborhood as well as nearby meadows, flower gardens and woodlands are some of the places where you can observe native butterflies. You may need to enlist the help of a butterfly field guide to correctly identify the native butterfly species.
Choose a location for your butterfly garden
Pesticides kill butterflies and caterpillars, and therefore, a pesticide-free environment is crucial to building a butterfly garden. If the threat of pests and insects bothers you, consider the use of biological controls or non-chemical alternatives such as insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils.
The intended site for your butterfly garden should have adequate sun, shade, and shelter from high winds. Butterflies are cold blooded, and they need the warm glow of the sun to increase their body temperature and as a source of energy. Shady areas in a butterfly garden give butterflies a place to cool off when the weather gets very hot. Butterflies expend a lot of energy when flying amidst strong gusts of wind, and so your butterfly garden must be sufficiently shielded from the wind to ease the butterflies’ flight.
Plant nectar sources in your butterfly garden
Nectar is the primary food source of many butterflies. To attract butterflies to your butterfly garden, you need to plant a variety of nectar-producing plants with different colors, sizes, and blooming periods. For year-round butterfly attraction, your butterfly garden must include different nectar sources that bloom from early spring to frost, when butterflies are most active.
Butterflies prefer plants with clusters of short, tubular flowers or flowers with large, flat petals, because it is easier for butterflies to land on clustered or larger flowers. Plants with clustered flowers also give butterflies access to more nectar sources in a single stop than plants with small, single flowers. Color also plays a significant role in arranging nectar sources in your butterfly garden. Butterflies appear to be more attracted to large flower masses of a single color or similar colors than to plants with many colors mixed together.
Maintain feeding and breeding grounds in your butterfly garden
If you want to make your butterfly garden a fascinating showcase for the entire butterfly life cycle, make sure you designate feeding and breeding areas for several butterfly species. Butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on or near host plants that can be used as food by the larvae or caterpillars that hatch from the eggs. Wild, native plants make good host plants for butterfly larvae and caterpillars. Allocate a space where host plants can be grown to avoid uncontrolled weed invasion and minimize the possibility of an insect threat to other flowering plants in your butterfly garden.
Butterflies also like to congregate at puddles or small water pools to obtain essential salts and minerals that are found in the soil. You can install a permanent puddle in your butterfly garden by filling a container with water and burying it up to the rim in the soil. Shallow indentations in the soil where rain or sprinkler water has collected also make good puddles. Small pieces of overripe fruit left to stand in your butterfly garden can also serve as food supplements.