By Jannie Vaught
Being born and raised in the 50’s we spent every minute outside. We rode our bikes or walked to school and spent long summer days and every after-school time out with our neighborhood friends doing things that sound out of style now. Like looking at bugs, picking fruit from lost trees, telling stories and in general playing. Till supper rolled around and then we were in the house. And as the years rolled along outside is where I’m happiest and where my mind and eyes can again look and examine the beauty of nature. And one of my favorite past times was watching pretty bugs, butterflies, and moths.
As an adult that fascination has not faded, I still love to watch the Flying Festival of the butterflies, the Floating Jewels of the natural world. Lets go further, most of us know of the transformation from egg to caterpillar to the butterfly and we don’t know much about their habitat, the dependency of each butterfly to a specific host and nectar plant. As Butterfly gardens have gained in popularity and the plight of the Monarch(the Texas state insect) losing ground due to habitat loss and the careless use of insecticides when something gets nibbled on.
Has been a real wake up call.
We need our pollinators and we are here at a crucial time can we begin the bringing back habitat and providing the plants they need. If you want to attract the most to your garden, consider planting anything in the verbena family or sunflower family. They are in my opinion the standards for butterfly food. They need their nectar fix. Here are a few to add to our list for next springs garden. Verbena, lantana, vitex, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, Liatris, zinnia, pentas, purple coneflower, phlox, and bachelors button, to name a few. Of course, Milkweed for the Monarch and sulfurs love Turk’s cap. And angel wings love dill weed.
Do some study and find what you have and possibly need to add to your seeds for spring. As we plan, take a journey down memory lane when our young days were spent outdoors daydreaming and watching all the Flying Jewels. Plan and plant for our pollinators, they need us to set the table for them to thrive and restore.
Out growing green with Jannie