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.