Okay, you have a beautiful garden full of colorful flowers. Your garden design is well thought out. The beds wrap around your house in a pleasing way. All of your neighbors enjoy walking past your front yard. Yet, you feel something is missing… what could it be?
This is where wildlife gardening comes in. Add one more element to your garden by inviting friends to share it— animals, birds and insect friends— their moving into your garden makes it come to life! There’s nothing like watching the slow dance of butterflies above your flower blossoms from your garden bench!
Recently, I wrote about one community I visited that was full of manicured lawns and pretty roses but devoid of life … it was missing bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The landscaping had no native plants to welcome them. Luckily there are many native plants that make pretty additions to the garden with blooms that attract pollinators. One such plant that has caught my attention is Monardella antonina, or Butterfly Mint Bush.
Monardella is native in the northern part of California. Now California is a big state with many different ecosystems, so something that is marked as a California native might not be right for your particular area of California. This plant does well at the Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita. I wanted to highlight this plant because it is a real worker all through the summer. Monardella attracts many different species of butterflies, as well as hummingbirds to your garden! Some of the butterflies include Fritillary, Pale Swallowtail and American Painted Lady. The nursery reports that Monarda is “worked constantly by every butterfly in our valley. Sometimes two or three on each blossom…” What a delightful picture that paints~
Wherever you live, there are plants native to your region that are beautiful butterfly magnets. Look for nurseries that specialize in native plants, to be sure you buy plants native to your area, and ask how well they attract butterflies. We have a comprehensive national list of native plant nurseries for you here.
Hoping you will join us and invite some new friends into your garden this Summer~
What do you have planted for wildlife this Summer? We would love to hear from you!
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