The Butterfly Garden. Winged Enchantment.

The Beauty of Butterflies

The Butterfly Garden/ This way Enchantment lies!
The Butterfly Garden/ This way Enchantment lies!
Glorious Yellows on African Marigolds
Glorious Yellows on African Marigolds
Buddlia Beloved by Butterflies
Buddlia Beloved by Butterflies
Moths are also attracted to some Flowers especially at Night.
Moths are also attracted to some Flowers especially at Night.
Enjoying a Drink of Nectar from Lantana..........All photos courtesy Flickr
Enjoying a Drink of Nectar from Lantana..........All photos courtesy Flickr

How to Plan a Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures of the natural world. They will come to you if you plant the flowers they love. Warmer parts of the world are blessed with more varieties but even temperate Northern Gardens can attract many visitors with a little judicious planting.

There are four stages in a butterfly's life and you should aim to cater for them all. The butterfly will look for the food plant for its caterpillars on which to lay its eggs. This plant need not be the same one that the butterfly needs to have nectar to drink. Whereas Hummingbirds like flowers with long tubes to drink from with their narrow beak, butterflies like fluffy flowers with lots of pollen and nectar.

The Butterflies native to a particular zone varies the length and breadth of the USA. The North American Butterfly Association has produced leaflets that list the Caterpillar food plants and the Butterfly nectar plants that are associated with each zone. this is their website http://www.naba.org/pubs/bgh.html

It is pretty safe to say that nearly all butterflies love Butterfly Bush or Buddlia and Ice Plant. My garden has a hedge of Japanese Honeysuckle which attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds. Marigolds and Rudbeckia are a safe bet too. Dahlias are much enjoyed .The Lavender bushes in my garden are always eagerly visited. My neighbour's garden has wonderful crimson Bergamot which is also a favourite. Less agreeable is the visit of the Cabbage White butterfly to your vegetable plot. All gardeners know the sad results. By and large this is the only downside. The majestic Monarch butterfly likes the Swan Plant or Milk weed, I have written about raising the Butterfly from tiny eggs to fully fledged butterfly, do check it out. sadly,of late, farmers have been spraying to eliminate the milkweed with dire results for the poor Monarch butterfly. Milkweed is quite pretty in the garden and well worth growing, especially if you have children to watch the miracles unfolding. care must be taken as milkweed in itself is poisonous. the caterpillars eat the poisonous plant and become poisonous themselves. The bright black and yellow stripes warn off hungry birds.

Make sure you have plenty of all weather seating so that you can enjoy the peace of watching the beautiful creatures feeding and flying from plant to plant. In Wales my garden has a mature wild Lilac bush that is actually noisy with the buzzing of the bees and is full of Butterflies too. I wrote a poem about it in my hub on the stone cottage in the Preseli hills.

If you are lucky enough to watch the whole life span of a butterfly it is both amazing and educational. The Butterfly Garden is a place of Tranquility and wonder. Enjoy!

More Fantastic Flying Machines

The beautiful Swallowtail.
The beautiful Swallowtail.
Red flowers attract both hummingbirds and Butterflies
Red flowers attract both hummingbirds and Butterflies
Soft purple flowers, a Butterfly's Delight
Soft purple flowers, a Butterfly's Delight
A Beautiful Butterfly Garden Heaven on Earth
A Beautiful Butterfly Garden Heaven on Earth
A Monarch Butterfly on Lavender......All photos courtesy Flickr
A Monarch Butterfly on Lavender......All photos courtesy Flickr

Lukas Nursery Butterfly Garden in Florida. So Beautiful

More by this Author


Comments 64 comments

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Beautiful hub & pictures...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Michael, I enjoyed writing it very much. I wrote a hub about rearing Monarch butterflies in New Zealand that you may find interesting too as it has amazing videos of the life cycle. The Butterflies are hatching and flying as we speak.


Iðunn 6 years ago

I saved you to end my Hub day on this one. :)

I have a flower garden in the front, including lavender and marigolds and a vegetable garden in the back. I get some butterflies.

The images on here are to die for. Just lovely~

Thanks for another great Hub. :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a wonderful hub and beautiful pictures. They are indeed beautiful.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

The famous butterflies on teh island of Rhodos ahve now desappeard completely I understand and I wonder if there is anything in what you describe here that might be useful in bringing them back. But is shuch a thing possible I wonder... Thank you for this :-)


Linda Myshrall 6 years ago

Hi Gypsy Willow, Butterflies are to gardens what sprinkles are to cupcakes, aren't they? What an inspirational piece, and I learned something... I didn't know that butterflies like iceplant!


FGual profile image

FGual 6 years ago from USA

Beautiful butterfly photos. I rarely see them where I live.

Enjoy their company.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Iounn, welcome back. Try adding Buddlia (Butterfly Bush) they really love it. A bit of sunshine helps too!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hello hello, beautiful is the operative word isn't it? Thanks for the comment.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi De if you can find out the types of butterfly you could look up its food plant and encourage the islanders to plant it in their parks and gardens. I would be happy to help with the research. Thanks for the comment.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Linda, my iceplants attracted lots of butterflies when I lived in England. Buddlia is a sure fire attraction to them. Thanks for the comment.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi FGual, I am surprised you don't see many butterflies in Tampa Bay. Maybe you live in apartment in the city? If you havee a garden you could check out the link in my hub and look up the suggested plants for your area. Butterflies add tranquility and excitement to a garden. Thanks for dropping by.


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Gypsy...Beautiful Hub much enjoyed...Here in the high desert we see the occasional Monarch but it is rare...We have a large population of ravens that probably cull the butterflies before we can see them...

Still, when the lone survivor flits into my rock garden and samples the blooming cactus I am thrilled and feel honored that he ( or she ) has decided to visit me for a while...They say that when a butterfly alights on you that you are blessed with good luck...I wear my brightest Aloha shirt when they are around, but have yet to experience this...perhaps my aftershave turns them off...

They are such delicate and beautiful creatures...truly a gift from nature...Thank you for sharing this...Larry


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Larry, I feel special as well when a butterfly chooses my garden. I add new butterfly attracting plants each year in the hope of attracting more. A beautiful yellow swallowtail came by this week. Thanks for dropping by.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Amazing beauty. Thanks.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Aren't they just! Thanks for the visit Vladimir.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Oh those pictures .... so, so lovely.

What a beautiful uplifting hub. Thank you. x


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I really enjoyed writing this one, it is nice to have true beauty to uplift one's soul in these dark times. Thanks for visiting my garden . XX


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Ah! What beautiful creatures they are! I love butterflies. Thank you for the great information. I enjoyed reading your Hub and viewing the outstanding photography.


Iðunn 6 years ago

I have the sunshine... will have to see if your buddlia will hold up to our weather. I'll check at the garden shop this week if I can get around Lent and Easter stuff.

I'm late on planting this year too, some late freezes. We had snow last week. :O


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi James thanks for walking in my garden.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Iounn thanks for the return visit. Where do you live? Ireland? Buddlea should be fine there. So much snow this tear!


Iðunn 6 years ago

texas? :P I might just happen to love Irish, but not even Irish blood. will your buddlea sustain 100Fplus for a few months?


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I'm staying near Sacramento Ca at the moment and I saw one in our local park just today. It looked fine . It did have a drip system looking after the thirst induced by such temperatures though. Check out the link in the hub for your specific zone. It will give more specific details on suitable plants.


Iðunn 6 years ago

thx, will do. if it takes a lot of attention it's past me, though. I'm somewhat unreliable with gardening and look for hardy stuff.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Me too. The summers here are brutal so a reliable watering system is a necessity!


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

One word............ BEAUTIFUL!

Thank you,

K


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Kaie


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I don't see many butterflies where I live now in Natomas, but I used to see all kinds in Vacaville when I was younger. Most of them were little white ones and the Monarch.

Marine World used to have an enclosure and they had a lot of beautiful ones in there. It's great when they land on your shoulder and just sit there flexing their wings peacefully. It's even better if you don't know and someone points it out.

Lately I have been worrying about all the misery in the world and this hub reminded me of the natural beauty that is just outside our front doors. Thank you!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Alexander, it's got to the stage where I avoid watching the news, it is too depressing. Trying to remain buoyant is difficult. My father in law, a wise Dutchman used to say "never worry about things you cannot control" Following that advice I try to keep people around me happy and to enjoy this wonderful planet. Just smiling at someone as you pass by can lift their spirits.

I have had a wonderful time with Butterflies this year and have raised 16 new Monarchs. This has been a very uplifting experience and I am filled with wonder at this amazing experience. I wrote a hub about which I think you read. We get many butterflies in our Sac garden but you need the attractant plants, We had a beautiful yellow Swallowtail just the other day. If you have a balcony with sun, you could have milkweed in a pot and may be blessed with the same wonderful experience. Life is short and not a trial run. Enjoy!


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Wow this is a nice hub place to be - I have buddlia so that should be good. I'm not much of a gardener so I can obviously learn here. Lake Tahoe - I went skiing there and flew over the lake itself about 10 yrs ago. I feel guilty now for catching butterflies as a young boy (wouln't let my kids do that now).


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Jamie, to my shame I did it to with encouragement from teachers and parents. My Aunt gave me a beautiful box that used to hold talcum powder to keep them in. I remember the smell of that box to this day! How times change. Tahoe is beautiful, I have written several hubs about it. Thanks for the comment.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Just beautiful. I love to garden and have recently thought to include plants that attract butterflies. Your pictures are lovely.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Dolores. Butterflies bring another dimension to the garden. Did you check out my hub on raising Monarch butterflies, ours have just hatched and 16 new Monarchs flew off into the wild. It was a fascinating experience. Milkweed will attract them as it is their caterpillars food plant. There are some attractive garden varieties. Enjoy!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Beautiful, beautiful butterflies - what a wonderful hub - love all the pictures too!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Shalini. Their beauty speaks for itself. Nice to see you.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

What a beautiful Hub with lovely, vibrant photos. I'd love a Butterfly garden, but what if they all fly away?

Thanks for a lovely Hub. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I think they always do looking for greener pastures, just like us. Thanks for dropping by


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Gypsy Willow. Hi. What great information in this wonderful hub.. No matter what size or color all Butterfly's are beautiful. Some of these plants that attract butterfly's are new to me, will try and buy some to plant in my garden. My Grandchildren absolutely love to sit and watch them as they fly around and are eager to learn all about Butterfly's. The photo's of the garden and butterfly's are really great. Thank you for sharing this hub with us. :) :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi oliversmum glad you enjoyed it. It is great for children to enjoy beautiful nature and butterflies are wonderful. Buddlia is a good plant to start with. Thanks for popping by.


Nolimits Nana profile image

Nolimits Nana 6 years ago from British Columbia

Gorgeous photos.

More of us should plant butterfly gardens, specific foods for butterflies. This article: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/monarch-butterfli... is an eyeopener also.

Thanks for an interesting and beautiful hub.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Nana, thanks for the link. I have written a hub about raising the Monarch from scratch. Have you read it? It is so sad we live in such a destructive world. Thanks for coming by.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Your numerous hubs about attracting flying things has me thinking I'm going to hang a plant or two on my patio. That will lift my spirits and maybe frustrate one of my neighbor's attempts to make me miserable. It's the perfect revenge.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Oh dear Alexander, you cannot let someone else make you miserable in your new apartment,what has gone wrong? Why don't you buy a hanging tomato plant so it will be beautiful and useful too.


rebu profile image

rebu 6 years ago from Coorg,India

hi..i love readin ur hubs..they r amazing...Thnx for sharing...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the lovely comment,rebu. Thnx for stopping by!


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

This is such a beautiful Hub page, love your pictures here.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you Fluffy, they are a beautiful subject. Glad you stopped by.


Tom 5 years ago

Hi, I live in the UK and am looking for a miss Molly buddlia.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

There is a company in the UK called Crocus near Windlesham in Surrey. You could try them, they are very innovative gardeners. Good luck. Even common Buddlias attract lots of butterflies if you can't find your special one.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Thanks for sharing this informational and visually beautiful hub. I've always been fascinated by butterflies and frequently pause to watch them when I walk past a cluster of them. I was on vacation in Hilton Head Island once, and happened upon perhaps a thousand butterflies. They stirred when I walked by and it was an amazing experience standing in the midst of them. Pure delight!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I wish I could experience something like that. One year there was a huge cloud of butterflies in our area that lasted over a week. They looked like tortoiseshell butterflies and they were everywhere. Thanks for reading my hub. I'm glad you enjoyed the photographs.


JJ Windrose 5 years ago

Thank you for this great Hub! I have never seen a Butterfly garden before, but I just love them! I find this an excellent idea for a garden and I think I'm going to do just this - make my own Butterfly garden! Again thanks for this interesting Hub!!!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi JJ, I think you will have so much enjoyment from these wonderful creatures. Even yesterday a new to me species floated through my garden, Enjoy!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Beautiful pictures. I love to watch butterflies flitting around flowers.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Koffeeklatch Gals. There is no prettier creature in nature.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

This awesome hub with awesome photos gets my vote up!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you Bard. Glad you enjoyed my hub.


jesusmyjoy profile image

jesusmyjoy 5 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

i love butterfly's thank you for this


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I do too. Thanks again for the visit jesusmyjoy.


Rachel Richmond profile image

Rachel Richmond 4 years ago from California

Beautiful. Walking the path at an Maymont garden, my husband we were blessed to have hundreds of butterflies come out of the flowers and "dance" all around us. It was the most amazing thing, ever! Thanks for the hub.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That must have been quite magical. I love interaction with nature. Thanks for the comment.


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Such lovely pictures and so interesting thanks


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for your kind comment DDE. Do you have lots of butterflies in Croatia?

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