Butterfly Gardens

To keep the pollinators coming around and to provide an environment for local fauna I’m installing some “Butterfly Gardens” for the butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, et al. Today I planted the first of 3 or more (BG1 on the map).

Included in this planting (clockwise from the bottom):
Fuchsia Sage
Orange Milkweed
Greek Sage
Lion’s Ear
Santa Rosa Island Sage
Jerusalem Sage
Honey Rose Sage
Southwest Cardinal Flower


Richard, that looks great! I have much less room to work with, and a colder climate, but try to stick a plant in for the pollinators any place I can. One of the most popular and dependable for me is catmint. It can be a little invasive but pulls up easily and is not difficult to control. The bloom time is lengthy and it seems to feed a large variety since the plants are a constant swarm of bees on a clear day. I enjoy your pics, and especially the progress on your raised beds.

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Wow, I would never have guessed about catmint. Here it blooms sporadically. For your climate, I would think about members of Rosemary that are native to northern latitudes; e.g., Washington (state) and British Columbia coast. I’ve seen them in the wild blooming among January snow!

I read your profile and very happy you’ve found a home here.

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My wife is an emergency center nurse approaching retirement,
Welcome, nice having you here. I look forward to seeing your garden.

Nice thread Richard seeing butterflies, something about them gives you a feeling of well being. A magical insect! I don’t really have a butterfly garden although I do have a few plants they must like.
I also see dragonflies, yet another magical insect. I love watching them.

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Monarda ( BeeBalm ) is a must if you want to attract hummingbirds. Out of the hundred or so perennials I have, that’s the one they always go to.

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I got to visit the Penn State Extension’s experimental gardens, where they were researching pollinator-friendly plants. That info may be useful to you, although they are focused on native plants, which probably aren’t native in your area. Mountain Mint was the most popular with bees, though I think other mints were also in the running.

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Our hospital Intensive Care Unit just open a healing and butterfly garden for patient family members to have some quiet rest while visiting love ones in ICU. Very lovely idea .



Nice garden plan. Love the dog in it too

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Orange milkweed - is that A tuberosa?

I just planted a few

False Blue Indigo is a must have in my area, I cant speak to how it performs in other areas. It has a long bloom time for me, roughly a month and the bubble bees love it. Mine is in full bloom now and I bet if I go look it will have plenty of bees on it. Lilac seems to be a big butterfly magnet here.

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I think I will be copying you Richard! I have all kinds of plants in the front portion of my back yard but not the orchard.

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Lavender and Mexican Sage is a hummingbird/honey bee/bumblebee magnet here. Oddly, I never seem to see many butterflies around here. Lots of caterpillars though!

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The local hummingbird species aren’t so interested in BeeBalm, but they adore local sages such as Cleveland’s.

This one is Asclepias curassavica.

If you want humming bird, hang an humming bird feeder :wink:

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Somewhere I read that Hummingbird Feeders are a vector for disease, plus the store-bought “nectar” is not so good for their health? :thinking:

Bee favorites here are the echinacias and goldenrod

I get black swallowtails on the queen anne’s lace


After someone else mentioned sages, Russian sage is a good one here as well, just slipped my mind as it doesnt bloom until later in the summer. I enjoy the smell as well. It is about as drought tolerant of a plant as they come. I have several bunches around my yard and 2 of those are on the west end of the house that gets hot afternoon sun and little precipitation.

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Though I never get the fritillaries, P. incarnata is well visited by bees, especially bumbles. They get so happy that we pet them.

I also never see caterpillars on my pawpaws, though they are supposed to be an attractant tree

Parsley is a must for butterflies.

I’ll second the recommendation for coneflowers.

I am fortunate that I don’t get plum cucurio, haven’t seen OFM or even many Japanese beetles (1 so far this year, less than a handful each of the past 5 years). I have many, many perennials which I assume means I’m bringing in plenty of beneficials.


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They ignore mine!

Sedums, different varieties, very drought tolerant, some of them can be used as ground cover, the others can grow tall. Butterflies love them.
Hissops, there are very ornamental forms with bright yellow leaves and blue flowers, they self seed themselves and they make aromatic tea.
Ice plant, there are varieties with different colors, very nice low growing plants.
Snow-in-summer, very tough plants.
Coneflowers and rudbekia they sow themselves and have lots of flowers.
Garlic chives, bees love them, but they can become weedy.
Irises, very low care, drought tolerant and beautiful.
Verbena and pent should be perennials in your climate.
Poppies of all sorts.
Tulips, they grow in deserts.

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