Small Garden Design Tips

Creating and enjoying a garden even in the smallest of spaces

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Small Garden Design for Attracting Butterflies

Posted by admin on Jan 21, 2011 under container gardening, flower garden design, small garden design

“>Butterflies are beautiful.  When creating your small garden design, it is flowers that will attract butterflies.

Butterflies are insects.  Insects are cold blooded and rely on the environment for heat.  The best place to find butterflies are basking in the sun to warm up.  The dark spots on butterfly wings help them absorb the heat from the sun to keep them warm.  Sunny areas will bring the butterflies out, while shady areas provide a place for them to hide in cloudy weather.

The type of butterflies attracted to a garden depends on your location and the nectar or sweet liquid found in flowers, that your garden provides.

The best way to decide on what plants to include in your small garden design to attract butterflies is to first research the types of butterflies that are native to your area.  Then find out what flowers and plants they like to feed on and lay their eggs on, since these will be native to your growing area, they will be easy to grow and maintain.

Butterflies are attracted to flowers.  Planting flowers in varying tall and short heights is not only aesthetically pleasing to your eye, but will attract different butterfly types.  When planning your flower garden design, keep shorter flowering plants to the front of the beds, borders, and walkways.  Examples of some short height plants that attract butterflies include impatiens, lavender, and verbena.  Taller flowers such as cosmos and sunflowers should be kept toward the back of your flower garden design.  Medium height flowers such as zinnia, coreopsis, coneflowers, and black-eyed-susans are also great for attracting butterflies to  your small garden.

Regardless of where you live, there are a few basic elements that any butterfly attracting small garden design should have.

  1. A sunny location. Being cold blooded, butterflies need the sun to help them stay warm for flight and feeding.
  2. Nectar producing plants. Butterflies are attracted to flowers in purple, red, yellow, orange, and pick with flat-topped or clustered flowers and short flower tubes.  A small garden design that contains flowers that bloom from spring through the summer into autumn will provide a continual food source.
  3. Planting flowers in groupings. Butterflies are attracted to nectar plants in clusters.  This is because they are near-sighted.  It is easier for them to see splotches of color than to see one bloom here or there.  Even when designing a small container garden design, grouping of three or more nectar plants in a pot will help attract butterflies.
  4. Avoid pesticides. Butterflies are sensitive to pesticides.  You don’t want to kill off butterflies, caterpillars, or their eggs by using pesticides.

An added benefit to attracting butterflies to your flower garden design that attracts butterflies…it will also attract hummingbirds.

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