A complete butterfly/hummingbird flower garden in a box waits for warmer weather in my home near the fairy hotel I'm building.
We may have a butterfly garden at the Garland Community Garden in 2015.
Loving Garland Green members are all about promoting sustainability, encouraging our residents to grow at least some of the food they eat, and demonstrating how we accomplish these feats as ordinary citizens down at the Garland Community Garden. Much of what we do down at the garden is an experiment which has sprung up from ideas contributed by members. And that's all part of the fun of learning together. Will the trampoline converted into a self-standing rainwater catchment system be practical? We don't know yet but we are building it now in Gene and Margies backyard. Based on our current rainfall and its surface area, we are estimating that it is possible to capture up to 72 gallons of water per 1/2 inch rain. If it does appear to be feasible, we will move it to a location in the garden and design a pretty way to disguise it--perhaps with Indiangrass planted around its perimeter. The Indian Grass is also a food host for some larval stages of butterflies and we can always use more of these pollinators.
On a serendipitous whim in keeping with our profile of "almost anything is worth trying once", yesterday when I was in a chain store looking for some cheap supplies for a fairy hotel I'm building, I wandered over to their lawn and garden section. Low and behold, I saw a complete butterfly garden in a box. Now I know the serious gardener would mock such a product, but a less experienced, ordinary clodhopper like me looks at it and asks: "I wonder if that works? I wonder if I planted it if the seeds would even germinate?"
Well, the ending to this story is that I bought it and brought it home. There is a spot near our Children's Garden that will be perfect for it. I'll follow the instructions on the box and we'll see what happens. According to the claims on the outside of the box: "Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden - Watch Your Garden Come to Life. Roll out the Flowers. Just roll, water and grow. Over 2,000 seeds and 10 feet long. Guaranteed [I assume guaranteed to grow.]"
After all danger of frost is gone I'll roll out the flower mat in the garden. Perhaps we will have a small ceremony for this event down at the Garland Community Garden. [But on second though, it might not be such a good idea to call attention to this event. We will keep you posted on it.]
We may of course also plant a butterfly garden next year that includes more serious research and education regarding types of butterflies we want to attract and their corresponding needs for nectar and host plants. Additionally we would note in these plans at what points in the season we might expect the various stages in the life cycle of the butterfly to appear in our garden so the kiddos (and adults too) could check them out.