Gardening with a purpose is always a good thing to do, especially when we hear that the butterflies and the bees need our help! In recent years we have seen the decline of both species. to the point that farmers and gardeners are sounding alarm bells!
It is common knowledge that Butterflies and Bees have a very important job to do in our gardens. When I say gardens, I don’t just mean our flower gardens, but also our vegetable gardens and our fruit trees and fruiting vines. I know many a wine drinker that will be saddened if their grape vines are not visited by the bees. We need these beautiful insects to pollinate our flowers, vegetables, fruit and vines or we will not have the fruits afterwards.
So how do we encourage these beautiful insects into our gardening space? Butterflies and bees both need nectar rich flowers for their food source. So when we want these insects to visit our gardens it is helpful and very smart to plant some good colorful and deep nectar filled flowers alongside of the vegetables.
Butterflies and Bees are attracted to colorful flowers in pinks, reds, purples and yellows and oranges. Open areas where it is sunny are also preferred to shady areas. You will often see butterflies perched on a flower head with it’s wings open and just resting in the sunlight. The other thing they like is a drink of water. A shallow birdbath, or even better, a natural rock with divots where water can collect in those divots. Or a shallow dish with mud in the center and water around the outside will also be pleasing for the butterflies and the bees. It truly is amazing to see how they will take some time out of their feeding to just relax in the warm sun.
The other important part of encouraging these wonderful pollinators is having safe places for them to rest in. Butterfly Bushes as their name suggests, would be a wonderful choice in your backyard or front area. Encourage the bees by having some bee houses for them. These are quite cute and if you hang them in a tree, the bees will come to claim their own special “pad” and call your backyard their home.
Choosing the plant material is important too, While vegetables have flowers before they become the fruits that we eat, they may not be the greatest sources of nectar. So having a flower bed or two nearby will encourage them to visit both. Companion plants would be great in this way. You will have the flowers that will ward off certain unwanted insects, while encouraging the bees and butterflies that we do want.
Buzz Purple (Dwarf) Butterfly Bush – Live Plant – 4 Inch Pot (You can buy me right here, just click on the link)
I happen to really like butterfly bush in my garden, because it’s really pretty, has lots of floweres all the time and it really is a butterfly magnet. I also like the book as it will inspire you to look for those plants and colors that will attract those beneficial insects right where you want them. The Other great part of planting what they like, is that they will leave you alone and go for what they really like….your garden of plants, a menu especially planted for them.