Nobody’s thinking butterflies just yet, but it won’t be too long! With several migrations underway, monarchs, swallowtails and others will be arriving soon. Their numbers are way down which is alarming to scientists, pesticides and climate change being key factors.
If you’d like to have these pollinators gracing your garden, here’s a few simple things to consider:
•Call it quits and abandon the use of any pesticides and herbicides.
•Plant native flowers and shrubs to benefit the flying jewels. Two-part, for food and hosting the chrysalis. A simple search on the web will reveal an abundant list of options for your locale.
•Leaf misters are mighty appealing to butterflies. They’re simple to install and even portable, your garden will grow lush too as a result of the gentle spray of water!
•Add butterfly feeders, in the form of nectar producing flowers, over ripe fruit, or an actual feeder that offers nectar via wicks. The wicks re-create the way butterflies use their long middle antennae to draw nectar from flowers.
•Butterfly Houses? Not so much, but they do look awesome in the landscape!
•Try a stoneware butterfly puddler for a cozy place to warm themselves in the sun.
Aside from an artsy garden accent, they can be used as feeders or easily transformed into a waterless pond by adding some sand and salts. The Ginko is a new puddler available for 2014 that features a rich texture and natural color. Both styles are complete with instructions for best use.
Now if it ever greens up, we’ll get a cool shot of the new one actually being used in the landscape!
Although they make for fantastic garden decor… I’m not totally convinced that butterflies actually use butterfly houses? I know they use feeders, especially those that imitate nature via “wicks”. The wicks absorb the nectar and butterflies actually feed from them, simulating the same process as getting nectar from flowers. They will also eat over-ripened fruit, you can view the video below for proof on that one! Oranges, bananas, strawberries and melons seem to work well.
If feeding butterflies nectar, it’s always best to add a sponge (preferably a new one) to the dish. The sponge absorbs the nectar and again, acts as a wick. This is strongly recommended as butterflies will not drink from an open source. They will also use shallow salt baths, or “puddlers”. Gardening plays a major role in attracting the winged wonders too. Both host and nectar-producing plants are needed for their attraction. Another item that butterflies (and hummingbirds) adore are leaf misters. The activity in a garden around a mister in summer is truly amazing.
And as far as those butterfly houses? Some say if you put a small branch or twig inside they will use them for shelter, but honestly, I’ve never tried it. The butterfly houses above are handcrafted of solid cypress. Both durable and attractive in any landscape, they’re meant to last for many years. They include classic copper accents and their own mounting pole too.
Omg, the last minute rush to find a perfect gift: imagine one that actually gets used and enjoyed, by the recipient and wildlife too?… it’s not too late! FedEx is including Saturday as a weekday delivery this year! We’re getting orders out the next day and most items are in stock. That’s a full weeks’ transit time if ordered tomorrow! Hurry, there’s still time to find fantastic butterfly feeders and more with no expedited shipping charges.
This butterfly feeder includes a package of nectar, wicks for real feeding, and small spikes to offer fruit… that’s why it works 🙂 It features both pole-mount and hanging options too.
The Butterfly Puddlers have been extremely popular this year, we’ve sold out twice and have more on the way! Hand crafted in weatherproof stoneware and recycled glass, they may be used as butterfly feeders offering over-ripe fruit, or as baths- using sand and salts. A lovely garden accent to boot, this item will bring many seasons of use.
Another popular type of butterfly feeder is the staked, large glass flower. They may be used as a bath or feeder, but the trick to getting butterflies to drink nectar from this type of open feeder is to add a piece sponge to the flower (preferably a new one). Soaking up the nectar, the sponge acts as a wick that imitates nature and the way butterflies actually draw nectar from flowers. Still available, but in yellow only.
And lastly, if you really want to see some butterfly action this summer, leaf misters work like a charm! The activity in a garden around a leaf mister in summer is truly amazing. Stake one of these in the ground around some lantana, milkweed, or abelia, and enjoy the show. Hummingbirds and songbirds love them too.
Simple to install, there are several options for use. We like the ground stake option, as the mister placement may be easily changed every few days. This avoids saturation in any given spot. Other birds will leaf bathe, hummingbirds dart in and out of the mist, while butterflies “flut” around… it’s very cool! The misters create a “spa-like” atmosphere that you could sit and watch for hours.
So there it is, great last minute gifts to entice these winged wonders… all in stock for immediate shipping!
And if I don’t make it back to the blog before then… Wishing you & yours a most wonderful holiday~