Planting a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden

In May of 2014, I planted a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden along the back of our yard. Here are the details of what was planted!

Background

Sheet mulch and compost started the garden in the back of the yard.

Sheet mulch and compost started the garden in the back of the yard.

I hadn’t originally intended for the garden to look as it does now. In May of 2014, I wanted to buy some shrubs to plant along the back lot line of our yard. I prepared a site with sheet mulch, compost, and mulch, but just needed some plants to fill in the area. I also wanted some fruiting shrubs for other parts of the yard, so I went to the Friends of the Arboretum Native Plant Sale to see what I could find. However, not having ordered the plants ahead of time, I realized when I got there that the shrubs that I wanted were not available. I was not too disappointed though after I saw another option, the Butterfly and Hummingbird Prairie Mix.

About the Plant Mix

The Butterfly and Hummingbird Prairie Mix was a large flat filled with a variety of different native plants to create a habitat for butterflies, birds, and native pollinators. The description said, “The butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds, and pollinators will thank you for your efforts in planting this mix. These native plants may attract three times as many pollinators as non-native species.” A volunteer at the sale advised me to water weekly for the first 1-2 years to help the plants get established. With 38 plants at $98, this mix would not be easy to plant or cheap to invest in, but I thought I would give it a try.

Design and Planting

When I got home, I looked through the documentation on the plants and felt a bit overwhelmed. Some of the plants like wet sites and some like dry sites. Some can be 1 feet tall and some can be up to 5 feet tall. Some of the plants are perennials and some are supposed to reseed themselves. There were all different colors, sun requirements, and soil preferences. The plants were to be spaced with 1 square foot per plant. I sat down and planned out a design of where the plants could go, knowing that the design might not be perfect. Then I went out and started setting the plants on the ground to see if the design would look good.

It wasn’t easy planting 38 plants in one sitting, but I wanted to get all the plants safely in the ground before the work week started. After the plants were watered, voila! Our backyard featured a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden!

Butterfly Garden 1

Plant Details

Here are the 12 types of plants that were included in this mix.

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