Archive for September 2010
Butterflies not only add beauty to your garden but also serve many other purposes in local ecosystem. Adult butterflies help in pollination, while both adults and caterpillars are the main food sources for birds and other animals.
Butterflies, like all wildlife, want to live in the place where there is enough food, water, and shelter. However, they need two types of food, one for the caterpillars (larval stage) and the other for the adult butterflies.
To attract butterflies, your garden will need the following:
- Nectar plants for butterflies. Plants that provide food for butterflies are called nectar plants. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden then grow plants that bear nectar-producing flowers because nectar is the major source of butterfly’s food.
When selecting nectar plants for your garden, it is important to select different kinds of flowering plants with blooming time spaced out across summer, spring, and early autumn.
Some of the well-known nectar plants include:
Asters, Milkweeds, Azalea, black-eyed Susan, Phlox, Coneflowers, Oregano, Clover, Sunflowers, Mint, Marigolds, Zinnias, Bush Cinquefolia, Butterfly bush, Privet, Lilac, and Redbud Sweet pea, Lilac, Cosmos, Thistles, and various fruit trees.
- Host plants for caterpillars. Plants that provide food for caterpillars are called host plants. Growing hose plants in your garden provides butterflies a place to lay their eggs. Therefore, if you want to attract unusual and uncommon butterflies in your garden then grow plants that caterpillars love to eat.
Some of the most common host plants include:
Milkweeds, Hollyhocks, Fennel, Parsley, Dill, Wild Senna, Passion Vine, Pipe Vine, Carrot, Wild Lilacs, Buckthorns, Hop-tree, Passion Vine, Wild Plums and Cherries, Sage, Citrus, Ashes, Poplar, and Wild Lime.
- Enough sunlight. Butterflies love sunlight. You need to ensure that all the butterfly-attracting plants receive direct sunlight for much of the day, so that butterflies do not leave your garden in search of plants that are exposed to direct sunlight.
- Shallow watering container. Butterflies need water frequently especially in hot days. There are number of choices to provide water to the butterflies. Some of them are as follows:
1.Fill a terracotta pot or small plastic container with pebbles and add water in it.
2.Add marbles in an old Frisbee and fill it with water.
3.Place an old cup into the ground near the plants and keep it filled with water.
4.Use an old pizza or jelly roll pan to provide water to butterflies.
5.Fill a shallow ceramic bowl, an old baking dish, or a large plate with sand and sink it into the ground. Ensure that the sand in it always stays moist.
- Shelter from bad weather conditions. Butterflies need shelter during heavy rainstorms, strong winds, and other bad weathers. They usually look for shelter in trees, shrubs, and other densely planted places. You need to provide both sunny open areas and dense shadier ones for the butterflies to encourage them to stay in your garden.
- Insecticides free environment. If you want to attract butterflies, never use insecticides and pesticides in your garden. These chemicals not only harm the insects, but also keep the butterflies at bay.
By following the above mentioned points, you will be able to turn your ordinary garden into a butterfly garden where you can not only enjoy the beautiful flowers but also the colorful butterflies.
A neglected garden not only represents lifelessness but also shows an uninspiring sight. It may seem an unattainable task to transform a neglected garden into a beautiful and attractive one. Also, it seems really difficult to know where to begin restoring it, especially if the garden is in extremely poor condition.
Here are some suggestions that can help you in restoring a neglected garden into a place of delight.
Manual labor offers long lasting benefits:
Start repairing your garden by removing weeds. It is best to do it by hand and keep doing this throughout the growing period. The use of chemicals in the garden to get rid of unwanted things will also mean losing bulbs, perennials, or any other expensive plants present in the garden. Use chemicals only on the really tough weeds.
Remove poison ivy carefully:
If your garden is really overgrown, check out if there are poison ivy vines in it. If you find some, then it is better to clear out them and also its roots. Keep in mind that dropped seeds of ivy will result in new vines in the future so you need to remove them carefully.
Taking pictures of each phase by using camera will help you in planning and monitoring the progress and improvement of the garden. Therefore, after removing the weeds, take a picture of your garden.
It is also an ideal time to plan how you want to see your garden. Consider whether you want to use hedges or fences to make boundaries around each section of the garden. Also, plan which shrubs, trees and any plants you want to keep in the garden. While doing this, keep in mind the colors that you want and also the desired height limits for each section.
It is also an appropriate time to determine whether you want to have a formal or informal garden and then grow the plants accordingly.
Other tips to grow various plants in the garden:
After weeding, add some plants to fit in any holes in the garden. You can buy various kinds of flowering seeds from the local garden center and plant them in the garden according to your plan. In 2 to 3 years, your new planting will get established and you will be able to grow hardy annuals, perennials, and biennials.
If you want to grow seasonal plants, then you can plant flowers such as irises, bleeding hearts, and daffodils. These flowering plants will add colors to your garden.
Add inexpensive trees in the garden:
You can also add more greenery to your garden by planting trees in it. The most commonly used trees for gardens are redbuds, dogwoods, mimosas, and crape myrtles. Select the trees that grow well in your local climate conditions. For this, you can go to the garden center for more information.
Gardens can be your precious and beautiful property if regular care and maintenance is provided to them, and this article will surely help you in restoring your neglected garden.