Finding butterflies in the garden is always a delight! I can’t wait for them to return each Spring, amazed at their delicate wings and beautiful colors. My daughter’s classroom is busy raising caterpillars into butterflies and the daily updates of their scientific observations is simply priceless. The anticipation of the butterfly’s arrival is almost as intense as counting down the days to an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World and I’m thrilled to see her love for Science grow through long term experiments such as this. Little does she know that to enjoy the same graceful visitors at home, its all about a well planned garden and Earth Day is a perfect time to start planting with butterflies in mind. Here are my tips to help you celebrate Earth Day with butterflies in the garden:
1. Visit a Butterfly House: 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.
2. Research Species: 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.
3. Research Plants: 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.
4. Plant and Enjoy: 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?
Because we love our readers, Earth Day is a wonderful time for a Butterfly friendly giveaway. Thanks to our generous friends at Build- A-Bear Workshop, we would love to give your little gardener a furry new friend to share in the joy ~ meet Twinkle Butterfly!
How to Enter: NOTE: Each one counts as an entry and you can enter all 3 ways. Please do not leave your email in your comments. 1. Leave a comment below telling me why Earth Day is important to your family.
2. Tweet “I’m celebrating Earth Day with @MyGOMOM and Butterflies in the Garden!” and then leave us a comment HERE sharing a link to your tweet.
3. Visit our GO MOM! Facebook Fan page and tell us how are celebrating Earth Day and comment HERE that you have done so. 5
Winners will be chosen by random drawing “And the Winner Is”. Each winner will be notified by email within 24 hours. Contest is open 8:00 am April 22, 2012 to 10pm April 27, 20121. US Residents only. GOOD LUCK!
Disclosure: Special thanks to Build-a-Bear Workshop for engaging me to be a Friends Count Ambassador. I received product for this post and giveaway. As always, my opinions are entirely my own.