BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

A Small-Space Butterfly Garden

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My name is Mayurika. The pandemic has taken a lot out of us, but I like to think in a positive way. This time has also allowed my 10-year-old daughter Trinolka and me to build a butterfly garden. We researched butterflies native to Maryland and proceeded to build a habitat for them, adding nectar-containing flowers, a solar-powered water fountain, and rocks (painted by Trinolka) for them to bask on. For color, we got begonias and petunias. For the nectar flowers, we got marigolds, daisies (yellow and purple), a butterfly bush, and salvia. We added host plants for the caterpillars such as dill, citrus, and milkweed. Soon two to three butterflies, mostly cabbage whites, flew in to drink the nectar. We put the plants on one corner of the deck, overlooking the backyard lawn, and some at eye level for the butterflies to easily spot. The sound of the trickling water with the early morning sun was perfect for laying out a bamboo mat and meditating in the tranquility of nature.

potted plants on a deck with small water featureThe butterfly garden begins. Even if you have just a small space, like the corner of a deck, you can make it a space for butterflies and other native wildlife by providing the right sources of food.

deck with various container plantsThe mix of plants provides what the butterflies need, as well as being beautiful for human visitors.

small butterflies on butterfly bush bloomsA butterfly bush (Buddleia, Zones 5–9) lives up to its name by providing nectar to a few visiting butterflies. Though showy flowers where adult butterflies find nectar are the most visible part of a butterfly garden, host plants for the caterpillars are just as important—if not more so.

small potted butterfly garden in the sunAnd here’s the full butterfly garden. What a great project for Mayurika and daughter to do together!

small terra cotta water featureIt is often said that every garden needs a water feature. This shows how that can be done even in a very small space. Flowing water makes a soothing sound, and it is enjoyed by birds and insects alike.

butterfly bush in a painted containerI love the beautiful pattern painted on this container with the butterfly bush.

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