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Visit A Butterfly Garden

Updated on February 4, 2017
Painted Lady Butterfly on Lilac
Painted Lady Butterfly on Lilac | Source

Learn About Metamorphosis, A True Circle Of Life

Whether they are called butterfly gardens, butterfly pavilions or butterfly sanctuaries; they are great places to visit.

My first experience visiting a butterfly pavilion was sponsored by The Chelsea Botanical Gardens in Norwich, Connecticut. It is set up temporarily, for several days in a greenhouse of a local nursery. It is a fund raiser to establish a permanent botanical garden.

Monarchs, painted ladies, red admirals and black swallowtails floated about as I walked through the butterfly attracting plants. Indeed, some are quite friendly and alight upon their human visitors. Volunteers used lamb's wool dusters to gently brush the butterflies off the visitors before they exited the pavilion.

Near the entrance was a display, showing the stages of the butterfly metamorphosis. There were pupa in various stages of becoming butterflies. I have since visited another butterfly garden, and it had a similar arrangement.

It's a great photo opportunity and a fascinating experience for adults as well as children.

There are increasingly more butterfly conservatories in the United States and other countries

Have you ever visited one?

See results

A Caterpillar's Metamorphosis Into A Butterfly - A Butterfly Life Cycle

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License | Source

Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Here is a chart that simplifies the process.

An adult female butterfly lays eggs.

Eggs hatch into a caterpillar or larva.

The caterpillar, when fully grown, stops eating and becomes a pupa (for some species of butterflies the pupa is called a chrysalis).

Inside the pupa, changes are happening and butterfly parts are growing.

Eventually, the butterfly will emerge, mate, and the female will lays eggs. The whole process will start all over again.

Watch a video of the amazing transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly - An assortment of life cycle videos

View the time enhanced photos showing the progress from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.

Some pavilions are temporary such as the first one I visited. Quite a few botanical gardens and zoos now have permanent butterfly gardens and there are private ones as well.

Some charge a fee or ask for a donation, some are free.

Searching the internet for "butterfly pavilion", "butterfly habitat" or "butterfly conservatory" and your location might yield some;

"Butterfly garden" is tricky as you have to sift through all the gardening advice for setting up a backyard butterfly garden.

My recent trip to a Costa Rican Butterfly Pavilion in Guapiles - Part of Selva Tropical restaurant and free

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Living butterflies at the entrance to butterfly garden - very human-likeBlue Morpho butterfly when openedBlue Morpho butterfly when closed -- eating pineapple.Closed Blue MorphoZebra butterflyOwl butterfly when opened.Owl butterfly when closedBlue morpho
Living butterflies at the entrance to butterfly garden - very human-like
Living butterflies at the entrance to butterfly garden - very human-like | Source
Blue Morpho butterfly when opened
Blue Morpho butterfly when opened | Source
Blue Morpho butterfly when closed -- eating pineapple.
Blue Morpho butterfly when closed -- eating pineapple. | Source
Closed Blue Morpho
Closed Blue Morpho | Source
Zebra butterfly
Zebra butterfly | Source
Owl butterfly when opened.
Owl butterfly when opened. | Source
Owl butterfly when closed
Owl butterfly when closed | Source
Blue morpho
Blue morpho | Source

The butterfly pavilion in Guapiles, Costa Rica was permanent. Plants and trees were rooted rather than in temporary pots.

They had a large display of developing pupa along the side.

Admission was free as it was part of the Selva Tropical restaurant.

The Owl Butterfly Side By Side With a Sunda Owl - Fooling its predators by posing as an owl is this butterfly's claim to fame

Sunda Owl and Owl Butterfly
Sunda Owl and Owl Butterfly | Source

The owl butterfly is so named as it appears to have owl eyes when opened.

Speculation is that, the opened butterfly survives by being mistaken, by its predators, as an owl.

What do you think, does the owl butterfly look like an owl?

See results

© 2013 Ellen Gregory

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I love butterflies they are so beautiful, but have never seen a butterfly farm in NZ, but I would love to.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      WE have a butterfly farm near to where we live and have visited more than once, very enjoyable experience

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      golfspice 4 years ago

      We've had a lot of butterflies in the garden this year owing to the best summer in the UK for about seven years. Numbers had been down after many wet summers. It's surprising how quickly their numbers recover when conditions are suitable. A delicate balance of weather and habitat is required for their survival.

    • Elizabeth Braun profile image

      Elizabeth Braun 4 years ago from Sheffiled, UK

      I love butterflies and they're one of my favourite subjects for embroidery.=)

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      Would like to visit a butterfly garden sometime. I'm about to plant a wildflower meadow especially for the butterflies.

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      I caught a butterfly in our backyard the other day. My girl's are at the perfect age. They still think I'm super cool. The look on their faces when I released it nearly moved me to tears.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image

      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I also visited a butterfly pavilion in Costa Rica. It was amazing.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Absolutely lovely!

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      we had a trip to Butterfly Farm Penang years ago; my son really enjoyed even most of time he failed to caught a butterfly with his small hand

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      My favorite encounter with a butterfly was the time I saw two different species right next to each other on the Sweetwater Trail. One was a Painted Lady like the one in your introductory photo. The other was a species I had never seen before. I have a brown thumb, so I go elsewhere to see butterflies. Around here, they're too far away and active for me to get a close look.

    • sandrabill profile image

      sandrabill 4 years ago

      I love butterflies and this lens gives me enough information. thanks for sharing this informative and awesome post.

    • leifgustafson profile image

      leifgustafson 4 years ago

      Butterfly gardens are so tranquil and serene... great lens!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      It was really nice coming across your butterfly article today as my grandson came home from school today and was so excited to tell me that he was learning all about butterflies in school and I got a chance to share your lens with him. Thanks so much.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      Beautiful and informative lens! We love butterflies and have added a butterfly garden to our yard.

    • profile image

      linsm76 4 years ago

      I love butterflies and would love to have a garden that attracts them, but afraid bees will be attracted as well, which is not a good thing for me due to be allergies.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      I love butterflies ! Thank you for sharing this lovely lens!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 4 years ago

      The Black Butterfly Legend has now become an enduring part of the Amy Jade Winehouse legacy.

    • Therestlesssoul profile image

      Therestlesssoul 4 years ago

      I never knew about butterfly pavilion. Useful lens. Well done !!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 4 years ago

      I visited a butterfly garden in Jamaica, Vermont - it was such a delightful experience!

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      dilipchandra12 lm 4 years ago

      A beautiful lens, i had a good read. Thanks for the good share!

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      aaloo26 4 years ago

      I like the owl butterfly..It's cool

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 4 years ago from Michigan

      Sounds like a perfect place for a family outing on a Sunday afternoon.

    • profile image

      Zienna1 4 years ago

      We have so many trees and flowers for them to flutter by. There was this really huge butterfly I've seen 40 year ago that I'm still hoping to see again, but still no luck. The presentation was great and my daughter love it too. Thank you.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I've never had the pleasure of visiting a butterfly pavilion but it sounds delightful. I did plant some flowers on my patio that apparently will attract them, so hoping to get some lovely pictures.

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      dellgirl 4 years ago

      I love your lens, it is really beautiful. Nice work. This is very interesting and so well put together. I learned something new. Glad you shared this.

    • LauraCarExpert profile image

      LauraCarExpert 4 years ago

      I would like to visit a butterfly gardern!

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great video! I get a decent amount of butterflies as it is! Great lens!

    • profile image

      jura 4 years ago

      I like that video great lens .

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      When I was young I remembered a garden near my house that had butterflies all the time. I used to go there a lot. Great lens!!

    • alex89 lm profile image

      alex89 lm 4 years ago

      I love butterfly gardens, i think my favorite (that I have been to) is the one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If I am ever in Costa Rica I will visit this one!

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 4 years ago from USA

      I love butterflies.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 4 years ago from USA

      I love butterflies.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      I have a small butterfly garden in my yard. I can sit in my screened porch and watch the beautiful butterflies as they visit the flowers. If I see one I don't recognize, I get out my butterfly guide to identify it.

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      AshCreekNativit 4 years ago

      Nice! I'm adding a lot of butterfly friendly plants to my garden in Prescott, AZ. I retired as a teacher, most recently to migrant students in Oregon. It was always fun to trace the path of the monarchs migration to Mexico. Thanks for sharing this!

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      french_violet 4 years ago

      Absolute creature of beauty and the ultimate symbol, in my opinion, of transformation. I love butterflies. :)

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Xpeyur: You are correct it isn't in the diagram. I did include it in the written description below as part of the cycle.

    • Xpeyur profile image

      Xpeyur 4 years ago

      Nice, thanks for that. Couldn't help noticing the lack of an egg stage in the cycle. Did you know that some insects grow thousand times their initial size? Compare with mammals & birds.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      We see fewer butterflies here than in previous locales. Beautiful butterfly photos, enjoyed this!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Wonderful showing of these beautiful butterflies.

    • profile image

      Torrs13 4 years ago

      I think butterflies are beautiful. I remember always trying to catch them as a child... especially the monarch butterflies. Your pictures are gorgeous! I really enjoyed reading this lens :)

    • shahedashaikh profile image

      shahedashaikh 4 years ago

      I am a butterfly fan, just love em!:)

    • accfuller profile image

      accfuller 4 years ago

      Great lens. Butterflies are beautiful. I gave you a squid-like and a g+1 ... )

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I love butterflies. Their fluttering is interesting to watch, and their colors are so lovely. I visited a big butterfly garden in Hainan Island at the southern end of China, and was amazed at all the butterflies. Some of them were not so afraid of people... Thanks for your post!

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      LUMOSE 4 years ago

      Great lens:)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 4 years ago

      Spent so much time this week in the butterfly garden at Epcot this week! I was able to see a number of butterflies emerge out of their cocoons. So amazing! We are planning to plant a number of butterfly friendly species to encourage our own little butterfly garden!

    • hotsquid profile image

      hotsquid 4 years ago

      There are very few butterflies come to my garden, but I have a lot of butterfly garden décor stuff. I love butterflies.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      I used to have a garden that attracted butterflies including a butterfly bush. It was beautiful.

    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Nicely written and beautiful lens.

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      A really helpful lens...

    • averymiller profile image

      Avery Miller 4 years ago from USA

      I've had that Butterfly kit before!

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

      Interesting page about butterflies. That Costa Rica trip must have been great!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love to have a butterfly garden.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Twelve years ago, I visited the butterfly pavilion in Callaway Gardens in Georgia. It was amazing.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens !

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Cool lens! I love butterflies... They are amazing to watch... Thanks!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      Metamorphosis is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. We have Lantana, and the butterflies love it.

    • sha-ron profile image

      sha-ron 4 years ago

      I love butterflies and visited one of these just cannot remember where it was although it was somewhere while traveling around australia

    • profile image

      swuerthner 4 years ago

      I visited a butterfly garden in Carmel, they are amazing! Beautiful lens.

    • joseph-sottile-16 profile image

      joseph-sottile-16 4 years ago

      I love butterflies.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      What a transformative idea, to present the circle of life in such an engaging manner.

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

      So beautiful! I have never been to a butterfly garden before, but it is on my list of places I would like to visit.

    • profile image

      greytdogz 4 years ago

      I wanted to visit a butterfly garden in Victoria, BC while we were there, but it was closed for the season. It is one of the things on my list of things I want to do. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I used to see lots of butterflies when I was younger but there don't seem to be so many around these days. I would love to visit a butterfly garden again. I visited one once a few years ago. The tropical butterflies were amazing.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Wow, that video was aMAZing! So glad I dropped in and saw that ;) I haven't visited a butterfly garden, but hope to one day.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I have a friend who used to work at our local butterfly museum, but she is no longer there and I never visited. It does look like fun though!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've been to a few enclosed butterfly gardens in AZ, CA and Las Vegas. Lovely lens :)

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      We have the Cockrell Butterfly Center here in Houston and it's a great place to visit. The kids love it and there's plenty of educational things to do. Looks like yours is a great place, too.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Metamorphosis is among the most fascinating things in life. Lovely presentation!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      This is such a pretty lens with great information.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      There are butterflies everywhere in my neighborhood because there are so many flowers.