The Butterfly Water Wise Garden
Butterfly, Water Wise
Spring is just around the corner. It's this time of year when I start to decide which plants to add to the garden. There is nothing that I love more than seeing finches, hummingbirds, and butterflies in my garden. With that thought in mind, I put up plenty of feeders, and try to plant as many butterfly friendly plants as possible. There are very few things which bring me more joy than recreating a bit of romance with the tapestry of color and fragrances, while butterflies playfully flutter about.
The memories of humming birds buzzing by, the sound of sprinklers going off as the sun is setting, while I sit on the porch sipping iced tea is what keeps me going during those long cold winter months. There is something very nostalgic about a garden awakening with color after a long winter snooze. The only thing that I love more than a colorful garden, is a water wise garden, full of color and butterflies. Below I have picked my ten favorite plants which not only attract butterflies to your garden but will also give you tons of color and a break on your water bill.
1. Oenothera (shimmer evening primerose) YELLOW
A burst of Lemon-Yellow Flowers. These Beauties will have flashes of flowers throughout the summer and continue on into late spring. More branching can be created by pinching the stems several times during the spring. A zone 4-8, needs moist soil.
2. Asclepias (tuberosa) ORANGE
This wonderful butterfly weed has a huge flowering head with a deep golden orange against contrasting green leaves. This is one of my favorite plants. It not only looks beautiful, but it also serves as a host for the mighty monarchs and a nectar source for many other species. Zones 4-8 Plant in well-drained soil for best results.
3.Penstemon (purple Ozark Beardtongue) PURPLE
A magnificent purple burst of color from a large buttercup like flower. Originally from the Missouri Ozarks the Penstemon will start blooming in early summer. A butterfly and bumblebee favorite! Zones 5-8 grows best in well-drained soil
4. Gaillardia (burgundy blanket flower) BURGUNDY
These charming flowers look great in the garden or sitting in a vase on your table. A wonderful red wine color, these work great in almost any location. They tolerate dry soil well, and constant blooming can be encouraged by removing faded flowers. Zones 5-9 plant in well-drained soil.
5. Sedum (Chinese Mt. Stonecorp) MULTICOLORED
This ground hugger looks like something straight out of a fall painting. Evergreen foliage, red flower stems and an array of yellows and oranges. Sedum can be grown in the toughest of locations. Zones 4-8 Plant in well-drained soils
6. Ratibida (gray headed coneflower) YELLOW/BROWN
Resembling a badminton birdie these prairie wild flowers are a great long summer attention getter. Mid to late summer blooming will help attract butterflies, and seed eating birds to your garden all summer long. Zones 3-7 Most soils including clay.
7. Delea (Purple Prairie Clover) RED/PURPLE
I fell in love with this flower the first time I ever saw it in bloom! Wonderful green upright stems finished off with glorious bright red-purple flowers. A deep-rooted legume, it will add nitrogen to the soil to help fertilize surrounding plants. Zone 3-9 most soils including clay.
8. Asclepias (clay-orange butterfly weed) RED
Like the glorious red capes in a bull fighting ring, these gorgeous bright red wildflowers will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and visitors! The colors of the strong reds against the green stems will be the envy of the other plants in your garden. Zones 4-9 most soil types including clay.
9. Nepeta (blue catmint) BLUE
The Nepeta has a wonderful pleasant fragrance and one of my favorite plants to place near windows. The first bursts of flowers come late in the spring followed by another in late summer. A great drought resistant plant the Neptea has become the corner stone of many xeriscape gardens. Zones 4-9 well drained soil.
10. Achillea PEACH
Delicate and dainty clusters of coppery-orange. This is a great non drooping flower which not only looks good in flower beds but also great for flower pots. The German bred yarrow grows best in fast draining soil. Throw them in among other plants to add that needed burst of color. Zones 3-8 most soil types including clay.