Butterfly Garden

plant plant
plant plant

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, headed by Professor Chip Taylor.

butterfly garden
The Monarch Butterfly Garden at the University of Kansas.

Butterfly garden May 2010Hank in July10

Above left: the butterfly garden in May 2010 and late June with Hank (rt)

Butterfly garden

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


raised butterfly bed Close up of the Iron weed

butterfly garden Grasses, ironweed, butterfly bush in the garden


wisteria 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

raised bed butterfly garden

The garden in June 2011 (below)

butterfly garden


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.

butterfly on Ari's arm butterfly on Ari's arm

Ari and one of the monarchs that metamorphosed in our house.

butterfly on monitor

butterfly garden
The monarchs loved the milkweed we placed in milk jugs.

butterfly garden
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.

Small pond 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).

Chip Taylor 

 We like bees, but these are a lot of bees.

Bee day bee day
bee day bee day
Four pictures of the Tonganaxie, 2006 Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers' Funday headed by Monarch Watch Director Chip Taylor.

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.

butterfly garden

butterfly garden

butterfly garden
Ari and a garden friend.

Butterfly Plants to Look for at Your Local Nursery:

Autumn olive
Bee balm


butterfly bush Butterfly bush

Butterfly weed
Cardinal flower

cone flower Coneflowers
Coral bells
Dame's rocket
Flowering tobacco

impatiens Impatiens


lantana Lantana

milkweed milkweed

aster aster 
New Jersey tea