Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not every inch of a garden needs to be covered in daffodils or begonias. A bare patch of earth is a great way to attract butterflies (such as this Red Admiral), who use their long "tongues" to sip minerals and other elements needed for mating from the soil.

Moist to damp soil is preferable; standing water should be avoided for obvious reasons (butterflies can't swim).

Placing rocks or stones in sunny areas around your garden is another great way to draw, butterflies, dragonflies, and other beneficial insects who will use these rocks not only as perches, but also as a way of moderating their body temperature (unlike us, they can't just put on a sweater if they're cold).

Nectar-rich plants are the key to any butterfly garden. Plants of the milkweed family, such as the aptly-named Butterfly weed shown above, are major hits with a wide variety of butterflies, including Monarchs, Red Admirals, and Painted Ladies.

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