OK In Health - Glorious Garden Gems

How to attract butterflies to your garden year-round - May 2018

By Lindsay Coulter

butterfly

Want to help butterflies? Think beyond providing flowers for nectar in the height of summer.

Many butterfly species we see in Canada don't migrate. You can provide habitat and food for their entire lifecycle — eggs, larvae, pupae AND adults — throughout the year. You'll need:

Host plants: Adults need a place to lay eggs where their caterpillars will forage. (Plant species that will get eaten and not just look pretty!)

Mud puddles: Some butterflies rarely visit flowers. They prefer mud, poop (a.k.a. "scat" or "dung"), sap and rotting fruit.

Blooms from spring through fall: Don't limit your garden to an end-of-July colour extravaganza. You'll need a diversity of native nectar plants to flower over a few months.

Overwintering habitat: Consider not raking leaves to provide a butterfly nursery! Most butterflies in Canada overwinter as caterpillars, others as pupae. A few species winter as adults, hibernating in hollow trees, under bark and firewood piles, or in garden shed cracks and crevices. Few spend winter as eggs.

Sunshine: Make sure you (or your neighbours) have sunny spots.

Nectar plants: Most butterflies will feed from more than a few plant species.

Think about the role of your yard: Is it a habitat source (high quality patch that supports population increases)? Or is it more of an island? Some yards can provide for one butterfly species' entire life cycle. Some are disconnected from other habitat patches. Walk around the block and view your neighbourhood through a butterfly's eyes. Chat with your neighbours and see what they're planting. Note possible connecting corridors between butterfly-friendly patches. Can schoolyards, boulevards and local green spaces where you live help support butterflies?

Get to know native butterfly species: Not every person in Canada can create monarch butterfly habitat (e.g., they aren't native to Vancouver Island).

 

 

What will you do this season to help butterflies?

Sincerely, 
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

For more great tips from Lindsay check out her blog 




Lindsay  Coulter Lindsay 's Bio: David Suzuki's Queen of Green, Lindsay Coulter, answers your green living questions and offers tips and recipes to make your life easier on the environment. It's all about green living made easy. Continue the conversation: read Queen of Green blog - Lindsay Coulter Website


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Article
How to attract butterflies to your garden year-round
Want to help butterflies? Think beyond providing flowers for nectar in the height of summer. Many butterfly species we see in Canada don't migrate. You can provide habitat and food for their entire lifecycle — eggs, larvae, pupae AND adults — throughout the year. You'll need:
Full Article


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Description: Cherries can be sweet or sour, red or black. My favorite varieties are the big black ones. We used to enjoy “Bing” cherries I commonly now see a variety called “Lapins”. Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants. In addition, they appear to significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Cherries are considered a warm food and are great for increasing circulation. They make an excellent detoxifying food, helping the body eliminate uric acid and cleanse the kidneys. They contain ellagic acid, an anticancer compound. So, not only do they taste fabulous, they are also very healthy. A word of caution, cherries are considered to be part of the “Dirty Dozen” when it comes to fruits and vegetables that have been found to contain the highest levels of pesticide residues. So, it is vitally important to choose only organically grown cherries. They may be considerably more expensive, but your health is worth every extra penny you spend.
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