September 28, 2021

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A Garden for Butterflies

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Today we’re off to Michigan to see John Blair’s incredible butterfly and hummingbird garden.

I sent in some of my garden photos back in 2013 for Garden Photo of the Day (More From John’s Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden in Michigan). After that, I completely filled all of my available garden space at our southeastern Michigan home, so my wife and I moved from suburbia to a very rural location in southern Michigan two years ago. Now with nine acres, I have nearly unlimited room for gardening! My specialty is making butterfly gardens and also incorporating native plants with my favorite nonnatives to create what I call a blended garden. Additionally, we are restoring five of our acres to native prairie in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We have lots of fun gardening projects going on here, and I thought you might enjoy seeing what I’ve gotten done in two summers here at our new place.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA wild mix of many different flowers ensures lots and lots of food sources for a wide range of visiting butterflies. It is pretty gorgeous too!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA hummingbird sips at the flowers of Cuphea ignea (Zones 10–12). Also called cigar flower, this plant is native to Mexico but grows as an annual in colder zones.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsAn eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly sips at tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis, Zones 7–11 or as an annual).

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA giant swallowtail butterfly on a zinnia (Zinnia elegans, annual) flower. Zinnias are well loved by butterflies, and varieties with fewer petals are favored the most by pollinators.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA path wanders through this pollinator’s paradise!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsNative perennials mix with the annuals to round out this ecologically sensitive garden.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA rainbow over the garden

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsJust a few monarch butterflies on a liatris flower spike! This looks like Liatris ligulistylis (Zones 3–7), which is an absolute magnet for monarch butterflies.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsHow great would it be to live in this flowery, butterfly-filled paradise?

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe distinctive spots on its wings give the common buckeye butterfly its name.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThis incredible Polyphemus moth is an example of how moths can be just as beautiful as butterflies.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

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