As long as you are considering a vegetable garden, why not incorporate plants that will attract butterflies and other visitors? Bees, frogs, toads, snakes and other small creatures add diversity and beauty to any garden.
See more photographs of butterfly plants and insects on my blog, Yakni Achukma, The Good Land.
The best site for information about butterflies is the Monarch Watch at http://www.monarchwatch.org/, headed by Professor Chip Taylor.
The Monarch Butterfly Garden at the University of Kansas.
Above left: the butterfly garden in May 2010 and late June with Hank (rt)
The same garden, June 2011
Many of the same plants have returned and are still growing in late May 2012
Here it is, June 2014
Close up of the Iron weed
Grasses, ironweed, butterfly bush in the garden
My wysteria has grown from two feet to over 12 feet in a year
below: My butterfly garden in a raised bed is starting to take off
The garden in June 2011 (below)
In fall we bring in monarch and swallowtail cats so they can be safe from the scads of birds, spiders and praying mantids that will eat them. Here is a swallowtail that has emerged and is crawling on the netting. See more monarchs and swallowtails on my blog, Yakni Achukma
Tosh always likes them to crawil on him.
Success. A swallowtail that emerged inside flits around outside.
The monarchs loved the milkweed we placed in milk jugs.
The small pond provides homes for frogs, turtles, clams, a variety of insects and the plants supply food for butterflies. Tadpoles devoured the mosquito larvae.
The same pond three years later. June 2011. Note that the gray birdbath is the constant feature.
Chip Taylor, Director of the KU Monarch Watch, came to our house to gather the swarm of bees who decided to settle on a tree branch in the backyard. They were docile and Chip and the kids could hold them (he has a handful of them).
We like bees, but these are a lot of bees.
Below: Tosh and the Cecropia moth caterpillars that ate the pear tree leaves before cocooning and then wintering in our fridge until March. Ari named all six of them; she could tell them apart because they had differing colors on their segments.
Ari and a garden friend.
New Jersey tea