The Art of Darkness

Theme Garden: Faeries (and Butterflies)

March 10th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Amid Hummers Night's DreamOkay, if you want to get technical, this garden will probably attract more butterflies and hummingbirds than faeries. However, it’s the thought that counts, and who’s to say for sure whether that little creature that just whizzed past was a hummingbird or one of the Wee Folk?* (Besides, tradition has it that faeries are attracted to gardens where butterflies are plentiful, so you might just get lucky.)

The garden can be as large or small as space allows, and in a pinch nothing more elaborate than a window box or a few flowerpots will suffice.

The first step is to make your garden attractive to wildlife in general: Avoid pesticides, make sure there’s a water source (such as a birdbath or small fountain), and provide shelter: Siting the garden near woods or a dense hedge is ideal, but a smaller garden can use a birdhouse or even a clay flowerpot turned on its side instead.

Hummingbirds and adult butterflies both like plants that produce a lot of nectar, but butterflies also appreciate “host” plants that their caterpillars eat: Check with your local wildlife extension about host plants. It’s best to select plant species which are native to your area, since they’ll not only grow best but they’ll also attract the most butterflies. Try to arrange your plant selection so that something is in bloom throughout the growing season. A “cottage”-type garden with a slightly overgrown look and a variety of flowers is perfect for this (and gets extra points because it’s lower maintenance).

There are loads of plants which are suitable for this type of garden, including:

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