Anyone who has visited a butterfly conservatory like the one near Niagara Falls can attest to the beauty of these delicate flying creatures. With more than 700 different species living in the U.S. and Canada—from the eye-catching Monarch to the Giant Swallowtail—you, too, can create a backyard garden that will entice butterflies and keep them coming back year after year. Here’s how:
- Make sure your garden includes plants that will act as food sources for butterflies at both stages of development. As larvae, different types of butterflies-to-be will feed on different types of plants. Swallowtail larvae, for instance, will benefit from carrots or parsnips, so consider planting a few extra rows. Other caterpillars adore parsley. Milkweed, on the other hand, is essential both for Monarch larvae and as a nectar-producing plant for most species once they mature. Other popular native plants with nectar-producing flowers include Joe-Pye Weed, Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Bush and Bee Balm.
- Butterflies need sunshine, so if you have a smaller, shady garden, try to keep trees and shrubs well pruned to let in the light. But remember that those trees and shrubs also provide shelter from high winds, another key factor in planning your butterfly-friendly garden.
- Consider installing a butterfly feeder as an extra food source. The Birding Company Butterfly Feeder, for example, holds six ounces of Butterfly Nectar concentrate, which is formulated to attract different types of butterflies.
The Urban Nature Store has everything you need for the butterfly lover in your life. In addition to the products mentioned above, the store carries a deluxe Butterfly Feeder with multiple feeding stations and plenty of perching areas. Call their Mississauga location today at 289-999-5477 or visit www.urbannaturestore.ca to browse their terrific selection of bird- and nature-themed products and gifts.