How To Create Your Own Butterfly Garden

Our guest blogger today is Louise Blake, a mummy blogger with a passion for perennials. She recommends Coblands for all of your gardening supplies.


Image by:  snowpeak

Butterflies are multi-colored, fluttering wonders of nature, filling our gardens with vibrancy and beauty.  In Britain alone there are over fifty varieties of butterfly, and an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 species in the world. And the fact you don’t see them as often as you used to is down to a very simple reason – they’re becoming rarer.

Like many of us mortals, they’re affected by the inclement weather, with the increasing levels of heavy rain making it more difficult for them to fly, reach the nectar, and breed. If it’s too cold they can’t fly. And climate change and pollution are also having a detrimental effect on the continuation of the species.

So what better way to entice our slowly diminishing fluttering friends back into your garden than by creating your own butterfly oasis. You don’t need much space and you don’t need to spend a lot of money.

These hints and tips are a sure-fire way of inviting these wondrous, winged miracles into your very own butterfly garden paradise.

 Host Plants

A good way to start is to pick out a few host plants for your garden – in other words, plants that will attract the butterflies to lay their eggs to create more caterpillars and therefore more butterflies.  Milkweed, cabbage and parsley are good ones.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed
Monarch caterpillar on milkweed

Smells Good

Butterflies also love heavily scented flowers, of which Sedum Spectabile and Verbana Bonariensis work particularly well.

 Shrubs And Trees

Planting shrubs and small trees around your garden is also another good move. Common Honeysuckle around the edges of your garden provide good shelter for butterflies – just make sure that any flower beds are in full sunlight.


 All Year Round

There are four seasons in the year, so apply a bit of forethought and plant a good variety and selection of flowers that are available from early Spring to Autumn.  This will give them the sustenance they need to keep them healthy and airborne.

 The Hungry Caterpillar

Apply a spot of lateral or multi-dimensional thinking about your garden. For a lot of people, the sight of caterpillars is enough to strike disgust and revulsion into their very soul. But see the bigger picture.

In the summer, they’d have burst forth from their chrysalis and will be fluttering majestically throughout your garden. So don’t get rid of them – just imagine the delights they’ll bring in a few month’s time.

Well Trimmed

A basic way of encouraging your plants to grow is to regularly trim and prune them. This will not only keep the plants strong and healthy, but will also allow more light into your garden and act as an open door for passing butterflies.

 Butterfly Basics

  • Keep caterpillars out of the veggie patch and plant brassica, such as Nasturtium, to keep them away.
  • Butterflies like warmth and shelter, so make sure you position your plants carefully to make it the most attractive and enticing to them.

    A swallowtail from Brookside Gardens
    A swallowtail from Brookside Gardens
  • The primary reason a butterfly visits a garden is to drink the nectar – the bread and butter sustenance that gives them the strength to flap their way through cities and scout for suitable breeding habitats throughout the countryside.

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to see your garden burgeoning with every butterfly variety from the Painted Lady to the Red Admiral, and your green space will be a mesmerizing, iridescent flutter of nature’s boundless activity.

Do you have any other suggestions to attract butterflies to your garden? Share in the comments below.

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