Friday, 9 October 2015

Creating a Butterfly Garden
Grevillea sericea

The creation of a butterfly garden has the potential to provide two layers of colour, one still, the other moving. Without a doubt, the selected plants will provide rich colour to the garden landscape. This, however, will be enhanced by the arrival of some of the world's most beautiful creatures.

Scaevola aemula
Butterflies enjoy areas of strong sunlight. For this reason, our prime focus has been on planting our front yard with beautiful plants which will attract them. These plants include both native and exotic species. Among our native selections are various grevillea species and scaevola aemula (fan flowers). Our next planned native addition will be strawflower (xerochrysum bracteatum) cultivars which, in our experience, are wonderful draw-cards for winged colour.  These will be supplemented by a number of non-native annuals: poached egg plant (limanthes douglassi), marigolds, globe amaranths (gomphrena) and miniature dahlias.

Fan flowers come in shades of blue, white and pink.
Vital to the attraction of a particular species of butterfly are our four citrus trees, a kasturi lime, two pomelo trees and a kaffir lime tree.  Already a regular visitor to our home, the citrus swallowtail utilises citrus trees as a host plant for its caterpillars. 

However, we have planted a scattering of native plants around our backyard pond to draw these lovely creatures into our back yard. These include dianella caerulea, pultenaea capitellata, brachyscome multifida and philotheca myoporoides. The white flowers of the philotheca, formerly known as an eriostemon, is often smothered with hover flies and some bees, assisting the pollination of our flowering fruit trees. 

Philotheca myoporoides
This is our first attempt to create a butterfly garden in a city suburban location. Chewed leaves?... we are prepared to suffer some damage to these plants in order to witness the passing colour. Here's hoping that our endeavours are rewarded with regular 'flutter-by's of spectacular visitors.

Pultenaea capitellata

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