Invite butterflies in your Garden

Have you ever thought of bringing wildlife to your own home? It may be wonderful adventures to attract more birds, fireflies and or butterflies and so many other creatures to your own garden in courtyard, backyard or rooftop?

All wild species have four basic requirements for existence: food, water, shelter, and places to breed. Look around and one notices that the home garden, how small it may be, may already be providing habitat for some of the wildlife. Plants in the garden provide food in the farm of seeds, fruits, nuts, and nectar and or a nesting and breeding places to the birds? Even dead or dying trees (some time placed for decoration) are haunts for some species. They are excavated and used by woodpeckers, squirrels, and a multitude of insects and cavity-nesting birds, such as owls, bluebirds, chickadees, and wrens.

Make sure to include at least one good clump of evergreen trees and shrubs to provide year-round protective cover from weather and predators while choosing plants for the garden. Deciduous shrubs offer effective summer cover for nesting and escape from predators.

Additional feeders can provide nectar for hummingbirds and a variety of seed for other birds throughout the year. But the additional feeders should only be used as a supplement to natural food provided by plants.

Like all living things, wildlife needs water, for drinking, bathing, and in some cases, breeding. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, a small pond, a re-circulating waterfall (do not include washing powder in the water falls) or a shallow dish. Those who have a natural pond, stream, pool, or other wetland on hand can include them in the scheme of the garden. A small pond set into the ground provides water for drinking and bathing, as well as cover and reproductive areas for small fish, insects, amphibians, and reptiles.

Butterflies are beautiful creatures that enhance the beauty of any garden. Still they are common in this part of the world. To attract the large number of butterflies and keep them in the garden is easy. All they need is plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. They need a place to lay eggs, food plants for the larva (caterpillar), a place to form a chrysalis, and nectar sources for the adult. They require plants that serve as food sources for them during their larval (caterpillar) stage. Butterflies almost invariably lay their eggs on the host plant preferred by the caterpillar, so make sure to include some of the host plants in your garden.

Butterflies’ “feet” possess a sense to taste. Feet making contact with sweet liquids such as nectar causes the proboscis to uncoil. Nectar-producing plants are best grown in open, sunny areas, as adults of most butterfly species rarely feed on plants in the shade. Bringing caterpillar foods into your garden can greatly increase your chances of attracting unusual and uncommon butterflies, while giving you yet another reason to plant an increasing variety of plants. And, butterfly caterpillars do not cause the leaf damage some people associate with some moth caterpillars such as bagworms, tent caterpillars, or gypsy moths.

Do not let the scarcity of the place be an excuse to start. One can start small to add some colors in life.

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