The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Bird & Butterfly Garden

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden. This section is the beginning of my garden – the first bed I created. I call it the Bird & Butterfly Garden because my intention was to plant plants to attract birds and butterflies. To view a sequential slide show of the making of the Bird & Butterfly Garden, simply click on the first image below. You will be taken to an enlarged viewing screen. Click the arrows on either side of each image to navigate, or use the arrows on your keyboard. (Please note the slideshow may not work properly on your mobile phone.)

6 thoughts on “Bird & Butterfly Garden

  1. Wow! What an Amazing garden you have created here. I’m so pleased to have found you and to see what you’ve done in such a short time. Your plants grow so well and fit perfectly in your planting spaces and the color schemes and variety are tremendous! I could learn a Lot from you, and I intend to! 😉
    Thanks for doing this great tutorial and slide-show,
    Steve

  2. Thank you Steven, that so encourages me! I need to pull a few things out of this bed and do some dividing very soon. The Husker’s Red just about disappeared last year. I hope I can rescue it early Spring. This winter I am taking the Master Gardener course at our cooperative extension through Cornell. I hope to learn much and share all I know.

  3. This is just the best! What a fantastic garden you have and that bird/butterfly area (border) is so pretty. Did you have a list of plants you wanted to get into the patch or did you just pick and choose as you went along?

    • Hi Sophie, thanks! I do keep running lists of native plants that are beneficial to wildlife and try to always purchase those on my running list vs. plants that attract me in the nursery! The Bird & Butterfly Garden came together pretty quickly. I knew I wanted bee and bird friendly plants and threw in some Milkweed for Monarchs but many of the plants were given to me by generous gardeners. It has grown up all by itself and some of the plants have not competed well. Huskers Red was absent this year and an aster I tried to incorporate. I hope to replace those and generously give away some Joe and Susans! The helianthus is larger than life this year and the Miscanthus suffered from last winter but is still there. It could probably use a little more room and my help to thrive. The oenothera outdid the geranium and I love that geranium! I moved some of the geranium to another part of the garden to make sure I still have some stock. It is a lesson to learn what plants will thrive, what gets along, and what plants will decline over time. I try not to interfere too much.

  4. Kathy, you give me inspiration! I have just started to dig out and expand a 30 year old garden at my cabin in the woods of West Tennessee. The original owner had iris, amaryllis, crepe myrtle and a butterfly bush. Last year I added shrubs that I had missed from my childhood: Lilacs. ( My husband and I lived in south Texas 22 years before we settled here 3 years ago and gardening was difficult in the poor soil and heat.) I have also added another butterfly bush to attract the butterflies. This year I have started to really look at what is needed to actually support butterfly and hummingbird life. There are some native plants growing naturally here already and we are respecting their growing space along the edge of the woods. I am making lists of native plants to add to what will be an ever expanding garden. I still want to have some of the plants I loved like the lilacs, roses and iris, but I am finding many of the native plants are just as beautiful.

    • Oh, how I love to hear the word inspiration Deborah! I am sure you will enjoy gardening in beautiful TN. In spite of its name, Butterfly Bush is not the best choice for a butterfly garden, but it is beautiful! I don’t grow it here because the climate is a little too cold. My favorite butterfly and hummingbird attractor is Joe Pye. Try to choose plants that have a long bloom time or a variety of plants so that something is always in bloom from Spring to Fall. To attract butterflies you should also include host plants in your garden for caterpillars (caterpillars attract more birds, too!). Here is a wonderful place to start: http://www.dallasbutterflies.com/Butterfly%20Gardening/Host%20Plants%20by%20Butterfly%20Species.htm I wish you much success and years of enjoyment in your new gardening adventure!

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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