Monday, March 26, 2012

Marking My Territory

Let me state categorically right at the outset of this post that I’m not really a gardener. It’s not that I don’t like or enjoy being out in the yard but I’m certainly not passionate about it.

For the last number of years (since John and I have been together), we’ve been apartment dwellers. The last two summers, we’ve had opportunity to do some gardening and, yes, I’ve enjoyed it, but it was always someone else’s garden.

This year, I’ve decided it’s time to put my own, personal stamp on this property. I’ve claimed the front garden.

I’m turning it into a butterfly and hummingbird friendly space. I’ve researched online. I’ve pictured it. And it’s all coming together in my mind.

I’ve even started.

butterfly_friendly garden

To the right is a stand of lavender. To the right of that, outside the picture, is a stand of Echinacea (coneflower). The darker green clump to the top right is a poppy that’s been transplanted from the back of the house. The stands of bulbs are lovely purple irises. Also out of the picture, to the bottom left is a lovely clump of daisies. There are also grape hyacinths (which John would like to get rid of), a stand of ornamental grass (which is coming out and being moved elsewhere), a clump of hens and chicks (which I’ll be moving and transplanting into “interesting” containers), a small rose bush and our blueberry bush. There’s also a day lily somewhere in there, as well as a new planting of tulips, which may do nothing this year; they were given to me by S, the new tenant upstairs. She’d received them as a housewarming gift, already blooming. The blooms are spent and I’ve cut them down to plant them. I rather doubt they’ll do anything this year, but that’s ok.

In the house, I have started some butterfly weed that I’ll be planting in and around whatever’s already out there. We also have a lot of marigold seeds that will be strewn about. I have every intention of making this a bright, colourful, fun little garden, a true bright spot in this yard.

From what I’ve read, there are three things needed to attract butterflies. Flowers are obvious. Secondly, they like a place to land and sun themselves. Hence the rocks. Thirdly, they like to have a water source nearby. Again, hence the rocks. The larger of the rocks, the one with the dark spot (which is water), has a dip, almost the right size and shape to make a fairly comfortable seat. It holds about a cup of water. During the hot summer days, I’ll have to keep filling it but I think it will work quite nicely. If not, that same dip will hold a shallow bowl. It would be nice to have a birdbath out there, but right now I don’t have one. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for ideas.

What do you think? Does it need anything else? I should add that I will be picking up some bedding plants as well (I’ve been researching zone 5 plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds). As I said, I want this to be full and colourful.

I’m looking forward to summer!


  1. Adorable, and it will be just lovely once the plants are more mature, and begin to bloom for you. :)

  2. Hello! I just watched your lucet video on YouTube. Thank you for the great how-to. I can't wait to get started. I love your small garden. My son and I planted a butterfly and hummingbird garden as well. I don't know what butterfly species are native to your area, but it would also be good to include plants that the caterpillars eat, which the butterflies will lay eggs on. You mentioned butterfly weed, which will be good for the monarchs. Hope you have a good growing season!

  3. Hi! How about a Butterfly Bush? They are lovely. Have a link:

    Elle C

    1. Good call. I'll have a look at these next time I'm at a nursery. Thanks Laurie!