What a Difficult Weekend for Americans – So Let’s Talk About My Butterfly Garden!
It was truly one of those weekends when you didn’t want to be too far away from your news feed. Are we going to war with North Korea? Will Guam still be there when I wake up? Is the taking down of a monument this divisive that people should die? Will Charlottesville still be there when I wake up?
Need some peace in your life? Would you like to create something using your sweat, not your blood, but maybe a few tears (when you’re done)? Build a butterfly garden and not only do you get the intrinsic benefits of butterflies, dragon flies, humming birds, and bees, the ecological system profits as well. Here are the top reasons according to the Butterfly Conservation to preserving and protecting butterflies:
- Butterflies and moths are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems.
- Areas rich in butterflies and moths are rich in other invertebrates. These collectively provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination and natural pest control.
- Moths and butterflies are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals.
- Butterflies have been widely used by ecologists as model organisms to study the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation, and climate change.
- They have been around for at least 50 million years and probably first evolved some 150 million years ago.
First thing you do is research the host and nectar plants that not only attract these beloved insects but will thrive in your region during the spring through fall seasons. Since I live in the second most humid city in the US, the plants recommended to me were lantana, tropical milkweed, salvia, agastache, dill and parsley, among others. There are many to choose from so I was able to purchase everything I needed with only four trips to two different garden centers.
Feel free to keep in mind the selfish reasons to create a butterfly garden. Imagine relaxing in your back yard, reading a book, sipping on a cocktail, and three butterflies fly by playing a game of chase around your garden. Time literally stands still. Your blood pressures lowers and your problems disappear – until they fly away. But the butterflies will be back and tell their friends so you can have that feeling again and again, except in winter. In that case, double your hot Irish coffee and count the days to spring.
Here is the photo of my (mostly) completed butterfly garden. One bit of advice, start small in a segregated area of your yard that has a good balance of sun and shade during the day.
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Missed last week’s Random Thoughts? Check out thing about funerals.