Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Last year I became interested in putting in a butterfly garden right outside our patio area so we could watch these graceful visitors to our garden. Last month I finally got around to covering all the grass with brown paper bags, topping off with mulch and then digging holes down to the soil in order to put in flowers butterflies enjoy and use as larval hosts. I planted red and white pentas, blue salvias, scarlet milkweed, parsley, pineapple sage and verbena. After reading a really good article in a gardening magazine about butterfly puddling stations, I went ahead and used a shallow wooden bowl on top of an upside down planter, filled the bowl with stones, rocks and a small dash of sea salt. Evidently the butterflies will land on the rocks and sip the water. I have to watch the water level - they like it shallow. So far I have seen an abundance of White Peacock, Monarchs, Long Winged Zebras and Giant, and I mean GIANT Swallowtails, Yellow Sulphurs and the ever present Skippers flittering around, but not one of them has been remotely interested in the puddling station. I am going to remove the little ceramic duck lurking in the foreground in front of the potted marigold and see if that makes a difference!