Creating a Habitat for Butterflies in the North Coast Pacific Garden
Butterflies prefer a warm, sheltered garden as they do
not like windy conditions. By growing some of their larval food plants you
will encourage them to breed. Plant some nectar plants for food and
watch out not to disturb those that hibernate in your garden shed or garage
during winter. Grow different butterfly and moth attracting plants in sunny
sheltered positions to provide nectar throughout the butterfly season.
Habitat destruction is far and away the main threat to
butterflies (and other animals). Vast forests are being removed for timber
and paper products, and industrial emissions are polluting water and air
resources. Additionally, habitat is rapidly converted by expanding human
communities and agricultural needs.
A new book is available in local bookstores, written by Pete and Judy Haggard. Amy Stewart wrote a review in the North Coast Journal of April 13, 2006:
"The Haggards, who tend a one-acre garden of native plants and fruit trees in Fieldbrook, decided early on that the book should include information about the host plants that provide food and shelter to insect eggs and larvae. "People want to attract butterflies," said Judy, "so they plant butterfly bush. You will get the adults, who like the nectar, but if you want to attract a suite of insects to your garden so they'll really make it their home, you need the host plants where they can lay eggs." The lovely garden tiger moth, for instance, feeds on plantain, lupine and dandelion, three plants gardeners might not otherwise consider cultivating, and the gorgeous yellow western tiger swallowtail needs willow, poplar, sycamore and alder to start a family."
Next: Butterfly Food (coming soon!)