Recipe for a Butterfly Garden
Take one sunny location and add two or more trees for shade and shelter. Sprinkle some small rocks around, then provide a regular dash of water to release minerals.
Prepare the ground by clearing unwanted plants. Layer cardboard to retard weeds and cover with approximately two inches of local mulch. Let season for several months until the cardboard has deteriorated.
While this is happening, enclose your space. Other curious creatures (deer, rabbits, armadillos) will want a taste of the feast you’ll be offering. Sketch out a master plan that allows one to walk through the garden and also tend the plants – tall at the back, shorter along the paths.
Select fresh, drought-resistant native plants which will serve two purposes:
Host Plants provide food for the larva. Eggs will be laid on their leaves and caterpillars will consume them.
Nectar Plants give sustenance to the butterflies. Select a variety of colors, and include landing space for easy access to food.
Prepare, plant, water, wait, enjoy (sunny, windless days are best for butterfly watching).
Maybe you’ll want to add a bench, a swing or a sun dial. Let your imagination be your guide.