Gardening for the Birds, Bees and Butterflies

The three Bs, birds, bees and butterflies are a gardener’s good friends. If you make a few wise plants choices, refrain from engaging in chemical warfare and understand that Nature will provide what you need, then you are well on your way to creating a great garden; one that will provide the fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables you seek to grow.

The plant choices you make need to be those that provide for the needs of the beings you wish to attract to your garden. Herbs are a great place to start and can be incorporated into a garden bed or arranged throughout your design. 

Dill and mint, for example, will bring the butterflies to your garden. Be sure to consider the whole butterfly family and choose plants that provide a place for the butterflies to lay their eggs. If you also provide them with a drink of water, they will hang around.

Sunflowers will attract all three, bees and butterflies first and then as the seeds develop the birds will drop by for their snack.

There are two things that butterflies are seeking: one is nectar, the food that adult butterflies need, and the other, host plants, the place where the female will lay her eggs and the food that caterpillars need. Both are necessary to create a successful butterfly garden. 

Birds like seeds, nuts and berries so plants shrubs and native grasses to get their attention. Shrubs also provide them with shelter so they have a place to fly to when they feel the need, which can happen quite frequently in an urban backyard.

The plants you choose will do the job best when they are native to your area. The bees, birds and butterflies will recognize them and make a point to visit. 

I suggest that if you are just getting started then take a trip to your local public library or talk to a naturalist society and find out what birds and butterflies are native to where you live and the plants they demand. Butterflies, especially, can be very fussy about what they eat and where they lat their eggs so get that facts first, and then plant accordingly.

The three Bs, birds, bees and butterflies, provide the gardener with a number of services, pollination, pest control and beauty, for example. The plants required to make them feel at home in your garden are all plants that even the vegetable only gardener can appreciate.

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Thank you Toby Hemenway