My Habitat Garden: Attracting Butterflies-Bees-Birds & Other Forms of Life, Zone 9a
By Bill Berthet, Ixia Chapter
|Polydamas Swallowtail w chrysalis|
|Julia ovipositing on P. biflora tendril|
|Insect Landing Strip|
To attract flying insects in my area I created a 60 x 10 ft. long “landing strip” in the sunny area of my front yard featuring a mix of the nectar sources that work in my garden.
Plants That Like Wet Feet
|Spicebush Swallowtail Cardinal Flower|
Creating a 5 to 15 ft. High Habitat using Small Trees and Large Bushes
High habitat is important for shelter, perching areas, host plants for butterflies, feeding stations for lizards, and berries for birds. The central areas of my backyard are planted with American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, Wild Lime, Zanthoxylum fagara, Southern Bayberry, Myrica cerifera, Black Cherry, Prunus serotine, Smallflower PawPaw, Asimina parviflora, Red Bay, Persea borbonia, Walter’s Viburnum, Viburnum obavatum, Southern Arrowwood, Viburnum dentatum asheii, Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria, Simpson’s Stopper, Myrcianthes fragrans, Holly, Ilex spp., Wild Olive, Osmanthus americanus, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, Swamp Doghobble, Eubotrys racemosa, Saw Palmetto, Serenoa repens, Chickasaw Plum, Prunus angustifolia, Parsley Hawthorn, Crataegus marshallii, and Gallberry , Ilex glabra. Over the years some pruning will be necessary for height control.
Host Trees, Plants, Bushes, and Vines in my Yard
Nectar Trees, Plants, Bushes, and Vines in My Yard
|Zebra Long-wings Roosting|
Nectar Plants for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in My Garden
Firebush, Hamelia patens, Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis.
The Fine Points
- I like the surface of my potting benches to be 35 or 36 inches high, which allows for a more comfortable posture when working.
- When pruning, leave several dead stalks 3 to 6 feet high for dragonflies to perch on.
- Use a lawnmower to mulch tree leaves.
- Include windbreaks in your design, such as fences, dense shrub planting, buildings.
- Weediness encourages butterflies and is a lot easier on arthritic hands than a manicured bed.
- Take photos and start a list of butterflies, bees, birds, and other life forms.
- For the suet cage: Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet by Wild Birds Unlimited is a real winner!
- Take the time to research a plant before you dig it up, you may have a plant that belongs right where it is.
- The returns on investing in a quality Rion Greenhouse far out way the initial expense. It allowed me to develop the skill of rooting plants from cuttings and growing from seed; enabled me to transfer cold sensitive plants during cold weather; and provides additional storage.