The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Butterfly Garden

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The first border I made with my blank slate – before and after. It was my spring training in 2008 – sod busting – who needs a gym membership! I call it my butterfly garden although it also appeals to the birds (later renamed the Bird & Butterfly Garden). I will continually add more butterfly friendly plants – nectar and host. This photo is the garden in late August 2009 in its second year. Plants include verbascum nigrum (the tall brown seed heads in the foreground), geranium, miscanthus ‘morning light’, helianthus small headed sunflower, rudbeckia, coneflowers, daisies, bee balm, swamp milkweed, joe pye, lambs ears, agastache, butterfly weed … The butterfly weed did not do so well. I bought it bare root and planted it last fall. It did come up but then dried up. I will see what happens next year – it may just need to become more established? Any suggestions are welcome! I also have a button bush planted around the corner – also purchased bare root and planted last fall. It did branch and leaf out but I think it also needs another year to take hold. The rudbeckia and cones grew so tall that I now need something else in front of them – this must be due to compost and I read recently that they should be kept lean so they do not grow too lush and flop over – hmm. This border is clay – in some spots “clay cement” – amazing that anything can grow in it – amended with some compost and mulched. At least now I have something to look at in the backyard.
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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

One thought on “Butterfly Garden

  1. That is a wonderfully full border in just two years. My lot is 1.5 acres and I sometimes wish I had less. After several years I'm still working on "bones",lol.

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