HerbDoc recently bought more butterfly-friendly plants:
A few weeks ago a group of Master Gardeners took a road trip to a favorite nearby garden center which offers monthly lectures on topic of interest. This one featured a talk and demonstration on attracting moths and butterflies.
The lecture included tips on planting annuals and perennials which 1) attract butterflies and moths seeking pollen and 2) feed hungry caterpillars. It made me realize that I have many butterfly pollen plants in the yard but needed to get busy planting food sources for them to lay their eggs and feed the resultant caterpillars.
Unable to resist the gorgeous plants available in the garden area, I purchased some annual asclepias (common names given were balloon flower and hairy balls), a deep red honeysuckle, a few “Little Joe” Joe Pye Weed, and a pink coreopsis “Heaven’s Gate”. As an aside, I already grow “Little Joe” in the garden, and I love this plant for its sturdiness and ability to spread.
We then walked to a greenhouse called the Butterfly Pavilion. Guided tours are offered here for children and adults on a daily basis during the season. The pavilion is packed with all of the plants that butterflies and moths love. It was a riot of color with all stages of butterfly development present. One monarch has just broken through its pups and was drying its wings on the walls of the greenhouse. Gardeners hunted for the various stages of growth and were rewarded by locating all of them.
It was a very informative day and I highly recommend it for parents and grandparents looking for something to do in the waning days of summer. A great illustrated book for those looking to welcome more wildlife into their yards and gardens is Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy.
Editor’s note: I grow “Little Joe” too and the butterflies and I love it.