I'm a little confused as to what a butterfly garden is? Every garden in my yard seems to be a butterfly garden, and the more species of flowering herbs and shrubs, the greater the variety of butterflies as well as other nectar feeders. My large bed of annuals, dominated by fiesta del sol and zinnias attracts a host of large swallowtails and many other smaller varieties of butterflies. My bed of native perennials seems to attract many different species. And then of course there is the vegetable garden with annuals and perrenials inter mixed which also attracts many butterflies. In late summer, the sulfur butterflies literally form a magical cloud in the veggie patch. At any rate, it would seem to me, that any diverse planting, with an emphasis on butterfly and hummingbird attractants, should result in a large amount of butterfly activity.
I would suggest that giving some effort to providing a variety of host plants for the larvae such that the life cycle can complete in your yard, would give the best result both for you and for the butterflies that you attract. Each year I plant an excess of parsley, fennel, milkweek, dill, and other host plants. For this coming year I've also planted some carrots to be left in the ground as host plants. We also have lots of shrubs and trees that serve as host plants. In particular,we have lots of sassafras in the yard, which I think seves as host to the yellow swallow tails. We are constantly in the process of expanding the selection of native trees, shrubs, and herbs to help provide a balanced habitat for the butterflies and other critters in our area. As the movie said [build it and they will come.] Plant it and they will come!
Last edited by hendi_alex
on Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.