My Butterfly Garden

  • Creator
  • #35579


    I would love some thoughts as to how to plant this. Need some low maintenance ideas as I spend so much time away.

    Another butterfly garden

    I haven’t decided if I should plant it up with a mix of annuals (with black mondo grass for the body) OR…

    I did plant it up with some perennials that I needed to get into the ground as a temporary fix, but the birds are LOVING their new digging pit and with me away many of them have been lost. I have now covered it with a network of prunings – and the birds are now enjoying running through the “playground”… I’m going away again today so will think about it more while I’m away.

    Next time I’m home and able to make further progress, I will be home for two weeks, so a good time to be monitoring the space.

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  • Author
  • #35922


    Getting wonderful feedback to this Big Bright Butterfly. I am posting photographs and updates on Facebook

    and on my website:

    I have been asked how I did it. Firstly you need to mark out a space that is roughly rectangular. My garden is inside a rectangle of 8 metres x 5 metres.

    I marked a piece of paper into squares and pegged out the area also into the same number of square, then “spraypainted” the same shape from each square onto the “garden”. It doesn’t need to be too accurate.

    I marked out the shape with paving stones (recycled) but you could use whatever edging you have available to you and before you put in the soil (mine is raised about 15cm above the lawn) I put down thick damp newspaper to stop the kikuyu grass growing back through.

    Once the soil is back into the space, then it’s all about finding annuals that suit your colour scheme – I chose a spectrum but leaving out green (all the plants have green in them, of course) so I started at the “next colour” in the rainbow – yellow and worked out – orange, red, purple, blue. Then I found annuals that would give me mass colour and wouldn’t be taller than 30cm high… and where possible are nectar plants. Bought way too many but better to have too many than not enough. Started by planting the outside colours first, at the recommended intervals just by going around the outside, then the next “layer” of colour inside that and so on.

    I had already ordered wildflower seeds which would “merge” the two colours on either side, for instance, between the yellow and orange marigolds (Tagetes) I have scattered seeds of yellowy-orange flowers California poppies. Between orange and red there is another species of California poppies that says it’s going to be red-orange flowers. And so on.

    Now I can’t weed the garden until the wildflower seeds have really shown themselves. I will then carefully remove anything that looks like it’s a weed. Let me know if you need any mroe instructions.

    Template here. It’s very rough, but it can be adjusted for whatever dimensions you like. If you wanted to you could make the squares much smaller, and peg out similar squares on your space.


    Hope that’s helpful!


    Yellow Tagetes
    Apricot Tagetes
    Salvia ‘Blaze of Fire’
    Viola ‘Penny Denim Jump Up’
    Lobelia Crystal Palace
    Alyssum Midnight


    Yellow – Eschscholzia Californica (Californian Poppy)
    Orange/Red – Eschscholzia Californica ‘Red Chief’
    Red – Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Dwarf Red’
    Red/Purple – Adonis aestivalis ‘Pheasant’s Eye’
    Blue – Scabiosa ‘Ritz Blue’
    Blue/Purple – Centaurea ‘Classic Fantastic’ (Cornflower)
    Phacelia Campanularia (Californian Bluebell)



    Well, some progress:

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