July 21, 2010

Butterflies Really Do Grow on Butterfly Bushes!

I love butterflies but never had a garden set up to attract them. I dug out an area in the front yard last year so I could plant a perennial garden visible from the window beside my desk, but was only able to find one puny butterfly bush at the end of the season.

It was a scraggly thing, short and widespread but with no 'guts' - the inner part of the bush was pretty naked. I had doubts that it was going to be worth what I spent, but it was the only thing available and I was determined to come home with a butterfly bush that day.

I'm glad I did. In one season, that butterfly bush has grown tremendously and has bushed out into a stunning attraction for several species of butterflies native to South/Central Ohio. I'm looking out my window while typing this (yes, I cen tipe withot loking at tha keeys) and see up to a dozen pretty winged creatures feeding on the bush.

Here's one shot I took several days ago;  I believe it's an Eastern Swallowtail.

Several more shots can be seen here.

I know there are  many flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies, but I never thought of feeding them with something other than the nectar they gather naturally in flowers.  Fellow freelance writer Tammy Waters shared a neat idea on how to attract and feed butterflies in your garden by making a simple Butterfly Fruit Feeder.

I have an apple tree that's making a mess out back with fallen fruit.  I do give some to the chickens, but I think I'll add a feeding station for the butterflies too.


Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben said...

gorgeous!! Definitely a swallowtail. I look forward to my daily 'In the Garden with Sow and Sow' fix. I've got to get pictures up of the Giant Cecropia Moth Jake found when he was young. I had my students make bug houses when I taught 6th grade and one boy caught a Giant Luna Moth (released after he showed his impressed teacher and classmates.)

Tamara McRill said...

I'm glad I scrolled down. This pic & the ones in the slide show are breathtaking!