Friday, July 24, 2009

A seasonal butterfly house

The Western North Carolina Nature Center has a lovely small seasonal butterfly house that I hadn't visited before. Displaying native butterflies (monarchs, gulf fritillaries, painted ladies, buckeyes, sulfurs, giant swallowtails, and others), it's a simple, but very effective display.

A hoop house, covered with black mesh, entering and exiting through double-screen doors is the basic set-up: inexpensive and nice. Raised beds support a variety of nectar plants and many other donated plants creating a nice border mix.

This monarch butterfly benefited from a purple coneflower inflorescence.

An outdoor butterfly garden bed completes the display. Great fun, indeed.

We'll be breaking ground in a couple of weeks for a new Butterfly Garden installation at the Botanical Garden where I work. We're excited about adding lots of host plants for butterfly caterpillars in addition to the nectar plants!


  1. I look forward to seeing it. I will be there in a year and a few months.

  2. That is exciting! Butterfly houses are such places to spend a few hours! gail

  3. A great idea, this seasonal butterfly house...
    But I must say that this year, I don't need a butterfly house in my garden. Butterflies are so abundant this year here in Flanders... Yesterday I was taking pictures, and at a certain moment I wasn't able to have only one ore two butterflies on one screen. There were simply to much of them on my Hemp Agrimony. (I even have a picture of 8 butterflies on one flower head.)

  4. What a great idea...

    But this year, butterflies are so abundant here in my garden, that I don't need a butterfly house. (Yesterday it wasn't possible to make a picture of my Hemp Agrimony with only one ore two butterflies. There simply were to many of them.)

  5. Certainly, butterflies visiting plants in our gardens are always the best!

    All we need to do (as gardeners) is provide LOTS of nectar-producing plants, in addition to whatever host-plants that we have room for (in our gardens).

  6. Anne,
    How wonderful to have so many butterflies this year!

    We've had a 'normal' year here so far, but nothing like you describe.

    Rob (in Great Britain) reported a lack of bumblebees (and I think butterflies, too) this spring and summer.

    Population fluctuations are so dependent on seasonal weather patterns, which are changing, to be sure.



I enjoy hearing from fellow nature lovers and gardeners. Let me know your thoughts.

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