Which one of us hasn’t followed a butterfly as it flitted about a garden? There is something fascinating about this delicate creature that is seemingly arbitrary in where it lands, yet we know that it is actually on a search for the brightest s and sweetest nectar. Or perhaps we have stood transfixed watching the busy work of a honeybee, seemingly oblivious to us while going about its important task for the day. Both of these industrious insects are critical to our ecosystem, and our lives are more interconnected than most of us know. This summer, how about creating gardens to attract both bees and butterflies, and in doing so, making our world just a little better. Tobler’s Flowers is here to provide the colorful s that bees and butterflies will love.
Won’t I Get Stung? Experts tell us that honeybees hard at work almost never sting. The exception is if they are threatened, cornered, or harassed. Given their exceptionally important work – we rely on them for our world-wide food supply, after all – it is worth the effort to help them to thrive. Simply stand back and allow them to work without scaring them, and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Many s are loved by bees and butterflies alike, so well-stocked gardens should achieve the goal of welcoming both species. They both love bright, nectar-rich s, such as suns, daisies, asters, goldenod, violets, and zinnias. You do not have to plant a full-fledged garden either. You can achieve the same affect with groupings of potted plants or window boxes.
But if you would like to attract the largest numbers of butterflies – and keep them coming back – here are a few more tips:
* Take Care of their Families: Milkweed, clover, thistle, and Queen Anne’s Lace are all attractive for the butterflies to lay their eggs, and for caterpillars to thrive. By providing for their entire life cycle, you can guarantee generations of beautiful fluttering butterflies.
* Provide A Water Source: Both bees and butterflies require water – bees like pure, clean water and butterflies prefer some type of mud puddle (sand mixed with water works as well). Be sure to include twigs or pebbles for them to rest on while drinking.
* Shelter from the Storm: Trying to extract nectar while being buffeted by winds is tough on a little butterfly. Create a sheltered space for them to find safe haven, preferably with lots of sunlight and warmth.
Not So Friendly Guests: Mosquitoes, aphids, beetles, mites, ticks and fleas are just some of the insects we wish wouldn’t pay us a call. You can plant ornamental s like petunias or chysanthemums to help to ward off the pesky critters. An herb garden is also particularly offensive to these guys – mint, rosemary, lemongrass, basil and lavender smell amazing to us, but will chase away many bugs.
The team at Tobler’s Flowers loves helping our Kansas City friends and neighbors to create beautiful gardens that they will enjoy all season. Simply research what type of butterfly you want to attract – or pest you want to repel – and we’ll help you to source what you need to make it happen. Nature is pretty awesome. This summer, we invite you experience it in an “up close and personal” way.