Fabulous Friday: Hide and Seek With the Butterflies

~

I’ve been playing ‘Hide and Seek’ with the butterflies at the Williamsburg Botanical Garden at Freedom Park, trying to spot as many different pollinators and butterflies as I can among the lush growth of flowers.

~

Silver-spotted Skipper on a Zinnia

~

It feels like the entire garden is designed to welcome every beautiful winged creature that frequents our area.  Flowers grow everywhere, interspersed with those host plants butterflies need to raise their next generation.

~

The Williamsburg Botanical Garden grows lush with summer flowers.

~

There is the widest possible selection of native flowering plants, augmented with many bright nursery trade annuals and perennials filled with sweet nectar.

~

Can you spot the bee, coming to share the nectar?

~

There are places for caterpillars to find shelter as they gorge themselves on delicious leaves and grow towards their future as bright butterflies, spots for butterflies and other pollinators to find a drink, and lots of shelter for them to rest.

~

~

One might expect the air to be thick with butterfly wings above this tempting wildlife banquet.  Where are they all this week?

~

Common Sootywing butterfly on Basil

~

I stopped by all of their favorite nectar plants, watching for the fleetest glimpse of wing.  There was the Tiger Swallowtail that flew away before I could focus the camera and the Black Swallowtail spotted by a friend.

~

Pearl Crescent butterfly on Lantana

~

I’ve no photo to offer you of either of these beauties, just one from a few weeks ago of a lovely Zebra Swallowtail.

~

Zebra Swallowtail butterfly on Agastache June 15, 2018

~

Lantana proves a butterfly magnet, and there is plenty of Lantana growing now in the garden.  If you want butterflies to visit your garden, planting Lantana, still available in local garden centers, is a reliable way to attract them.

Zinnias also prove popular, and our native purple coneflowers.  Please be careful to avoid using insecticides if you want to attract butterflies and pollinators.

~

A Common Buckeye butterfly feeds in this bed of Lantana, with bronze fennel growing nearby.

~

I like to plant nectar plants together with herbal host plants such as parsley, fennel, and dill.  Many gardeners also plant Asclepias, the preferred host plant of the Monarch.  Butterflies also feed on native trees or shrubs.  These may already be growing in or near your garden.

~

Some gardeners might think it strange to grow plants intended as food for insects. Others recognize the beauty of participating in this magical web of life.  Asclepias incarnata grows here in our Forest Garden.

~

By this time in the summer, the hunt is on for caterpillars. 

~

This instructional garden stone was crafted by a Master Gardener custodian of the Botanical garden, and rests in the pollinator garden.

~

You may notice ragged foliage before you see them, as they start off very tiny from their eggs.

I wonder sometimes, do butterflies remember their days spent munching leaves as caterpillars?  Do they fly back to their host plants, only to get distracted by nearby flowers, instead?

~

~

It is fabulous to find ourselves enjoying the magical beauties of summer, once again.

~

A bumblebee enjoys native Monarda fistulosa.

~

I trust you will find those creatures you are hunting for, and enjoy their rare beauty as we celebrate summer together.

~

Male Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a button bush flower, June 14

~

Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is Contagious… Let’s infect one another!
*
Woodland Gnome 2018

Most photos were taken in the Williamsburg Botanical Garden

at Freedom Park in James City County, VA

~

~

“There are times to stay put,

and what you want will come to you,

and there are times to go out into the world

and find such a thing for yourself.”

.

Lemony Snicket

Advertisements

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

3 responses to “Fabulous Friday: Hide and Seek With the Butterflies

  1. Painting stones was a fad that did not last that long. As much as I dislike fads, I sort of liked that one.

  2. This post earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at http://patbean.wordpress.com

  3. Pingback: Birds: Hermit Thrush | Pat Bean's blog

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 615 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: