You can build it and these special visitors will come. (It's easy. Honest!)
There is something magical about butterflies. It’s not just all that power in a small package or their colour and grace — there is something fascinating about their life cycle from lowly caterpillars to winged beauties. Spring can be a great time of year to build a garden to attract these wonderful visitors, so why not get your kids to help build a butterfly garden for the whole family to enjoy?
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when scouting out your plot. You want it to be an area that has some shelter from the wind and receives full sun for approximately six hours per day. It needs to be in a pesticide-free area so your friends are safe from harm and it has to provide some butterfly-friendly spots for sitting in the sun — a couple of large rocks will do. A shallow bowl or saucer of wet sand will provide salts and minerals to your winged visitors. Your garden should have botanicals that will attract butterflies and keep them coming back for visits. Both your family and the butterflies can appreciate the beauty that will come from planting colourful flowering plants. Plant your flowers in clumps — not all mixed together — as butterflies are attracted to like-with-like displays.
If you are looking to enjoy some butterflies beyond your garden, be sure to check out Carleton University’s Annual Live Butterfly Show later this year. Heading to the Niagara area this year? Niagara Parks (www.niagaraparks.com) features a Butterfly Conservatory. With over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among exotic flowers and greenery, this attraction winds through rainforest settings and past a waterfall. You can even watch butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight.