Earth Day traditions are a cornerstone for our spring. Over the years, I’ve noticed I favor gardening activities for this special day and this year, it’s all about butterflies. I can’t wait for them to return each spring, amazed at their delicate wings and beautiful colors. How I love the elementary school lessons that involve raising caterpillars into butterflies and the daily updates where children share their scientific observations. The anticipation of the butterflies’ arrival is a highlight of the spring and the hands on learning and anticipation is what school should be all about. Now that my children are older, its all about enjoying these graceful creatures at home and to do that, you simply need to turn to your garden. Earth Day is a perfect time to start planting with butterflies in mind ~ check out my tips to get your started today!
To help your children understand the beauty and awe, take them to your local science museum to visit the Butterfly House. An indoor natural habitat, you’ll find it full of species who aren’t shy. In fact if you wear the right colors, you may find they take a rest on your shoulder or shirt. But remember its always look don’t touch. The picture above was taken outside the Butterfly House that is part of the amazing Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. The amazing gardens and special exhibits like this make it my favorite time of year in Epcot.
Learn what species are native to where you live. I was amazed to learn there are 108 species of butterflies and moths that have been identified in my county and I now find myself eager to watch our garden with the goal of identifying and taking photos of as many as we can.
Once you know what butterflies are common to your area, its time to research the kinds of plants that will encourage them to visit your yard. Because I love perennials and aim for blooming color all year long, my yard is full of nectar plants like Butterfly Bush, Coneflower, Shasta Daisys and more. But my favorite host plant has to be Verbena. Planted near my office window among a host of other perennials, its a popular spot both for larvae and for grown butterflies to stop by.
Kids love to garden. From digging in the dirt to getting dirty, having the daily responsibility of caring for plants to the true reward of seeing things grow and bloom, gardening in our home has always been a win win.
Make Earth Day special by focusing on butterflies and how your yard can be a natural habitat to support many different species. If you really want to go the distance, consider a long term garden plan that will merit receiving a Certified Wildlife Habitat Designation from the National Wildlife Federation. You might be surprised to learn that many of the plants you already have are just begging to host butterflies in the garden. So tell me…
How will you celebrate Earth Day?
If you love to garden, you’re probably a fan of Pinterest too. For some of my favorite ideas to highlight your garden, check out our Outdoor Living Ideas Pinterest Board to get you thinking about how you can make the most of your garden this spring. Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Disclosure: This post was originally published as part of my role as a Friends Count Ambassador for Build-A-Bear Workshop. It included a giveaway for the incredibly cute limited edition Twinkle Butterfly. All opinions are entirely my own.