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Old 09-30-2010, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present

A friend of ours is getting married in November. Both the bride and groom have their own furnished houses, so it's one of those situations where selecting a wedding gift can be difficult. But they are both nature oriented so we asked them if they would like to have a butterfly garden as a gift. They liked the idea, so this past weekend we took a load of plants to the house they are going to live in and planted a butterfly garden.

They prepared the site last week by removing the weeds and a couple of lilacs that they wanted to save. There was one potentilla in the planting area that they wanted to keep in place. The first photo shows an overview of the garden site. The second photo is a closeup of the butterfly garden before planting. It's a sandy well drained soil, so we selected our plants accordingly. We also selected host plants that are suitable for the local butterflies.

The third photo shows the planted butterfly garden. The fourth photo is a closeup of some of the plants complete with labels. The area was covered with a light mulch of grass clippings and partially decomposed leaves and then watered in.

The fifth photo is an overview of the finished project.

This is a list of the plants that we put in, and some of the butterflies that will have host plants next year. Most of the plants on the list are also excellent nectar sources for both butterflies and native bees. A couple of the other invited guests wanted to join in on the gift, so we were able to put together a nice group of plants.


1 - Allegheny Vine - Adlumia fungosa
1 - Big Bluestem - Andropogon gerardii
1 - Blue Wild Indigo - Baptisia australis
1 - Bottle Gentian - Gentiana andrewsii *
5 - Butterfly Milkweed - Asclepias tuberosa
3 - Button Blazing Star - Liatris aspera
1 - Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis *
2 - Golden Alexanders - Zizia aurea
1 - Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia siphilitica
3 - Jacobís Ladder - Polemonium reptans
3 - Little Bluestem - Schizachyrium scoparium
3 - Meadow Blazing Star - Liatris ligulistylis
1 - New England Aster - Aster novae-angliae
1 - New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus americanus
3 - Northern Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepis
3 - Pale Coneflower - Echinacea pallida
3 - Prairie Smoke - Geum triflorum
2 - Prairie Violet - Viola pedatifida
1 - Prairie Willow - Salix humilis *
2 - Purple Milkweed - Asclepias purpurascens
1 - Purple Poppy Mallow - Callirhoe involucrata
2 - Rabbit Tobacco, Sweet Everlasting - Gnaphalium obtusifolium
2 - Showy Goldenrod - Solidago speciosa
3 - Showy Coneflower - Rudbeckia fulgida
1 - Smooth Aster - Aster laevis
1 - Smooth Rose - Rosa blanda
2 - Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata *
2 - Wild Bergamot - Monarda fistulosa
2 - Switch Grass - Panicum virgatum
2 - Wild Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis
1 - Wild Lupine - Lupinus perennis
1 - Wild Petunia - Ruellia humilis

The plants marked with an asterisk were planted in a different area with a higher soil moisture level.

Butterflies and their Host Plants

Black Swallowtail
Golden Alexanders

Clouded Sulphur
Blue Wild Indigo

Orange Sulphur
Blue Wild Indigo

Great Spangled Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Aphrodite Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Atlantis Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Silver-bordered Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Meadow Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Variegated Fritillary
Prairie Violet

Silvery Checkerspot
Showy Goldenrod

Harrisí Checkerspot
Showy Goldenrod

Baltimore Checkerspot
Showy Goldenrod

American Lady
Rabbit Tobacco, Sweet Everlasting

Painted Lady
Button Blazing Star
Meadow Blazing Star
Showy Goldenrod

Northern Pearly-eye
Switch Grass

Monarch
Butterfly Milkweed
Purple Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed

Leonardís Skipper
Switch Grass

Indian Skipper
Switch Grass

Tawny-edged Skipper
Switch Grass

Northern Broken-Dash
Switch Grass

Delaware Skipper
Switch Grass

Hobomok Skipper
Switch Grass
.
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A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present-butterfly_garden_4.jpg   A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present-butterfly_garden_1.jpg   A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present-butterfly_garden_2.jpg   A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present-butterfly_garden_8.jpg   A Butterfly Garden Wedding Present-butterfly_garden_5.jpg  

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Old 09-30-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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What a wonderful gift. It will be treasured much more than if you had picked something off of their "registry".
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:36 AM   #3
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What a great idea! And an impressive plant list.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:20 AM   #4
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Fabulously thoughtful gift.
I enjoyed reading your list of plants and the butterflies they attract.
Did you also give the couple the same list?
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Did you also give the couple the same list?
Yes, a list of the plants with common and Latin names, butterflies and their host plants, and favorite nectar plants. They are both interested in nature, so they enjoy the information as well as the plants. We did note that they were quite busy with getting ready for the wedding though, so we told them that the quiz would be put off until next summer.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Is every host plant listed native?
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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Suggest that they get themselves a nice camera for Christmas so they can photograph all the beautiful butterflies that will be coming to visit. This was a wonderful idea for a gift, that will last much longer than most presents and will grow and blossom as their marriage does.
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Turttle's pollinator garden
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Is every host plant listed native?
All of the plants in the list are native to WI except the Blue Wild Indigo and Purple Poppy Mallow. They are native to the US, but they are just ornamentals in WI. The native Baptisia in Wisconsin are the White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba), Cream Wild Indigo (Baptisia bracteata) and Yellow Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria). The native Callirhoe in WI is the Clustered Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe triangulata).

Quote:
Suggest that they get themselves a nice camera for Christmas so they can photograph all the beautiful butterflies that will be coming to visit. This was a wonderful idea for a gift, that will last much longer than most presents and will grow and blossom as their marriage does.
I think they already have a nice camera, and I suspect that they will be taking some pictures of the butterflies. Most of the plants are old enough to be in full blooming mode by next summer, so I'm hoping to get over there to look at it next year.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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What a wonderful wedding present!

I picture the lucky couple adding new plants every anniversary, and future plants being added by future children!
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attract butterflies, butterflies, butterfly, butterfly garden, butterfly life plant, garden, host, host list, host plants, native plant, native plants, natives, nectar, nectar plants, present, wedding, wedding gift, wisconsin

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