top ten butterfly magnets
Just sitting here dreaming about my fantasy butterfly garden, upset because I can't go outside until I find my net suit to protect me from the swarms of gnats!!!
I've been lurking here a couple of days and decided to come to the experts with my questions.
First a little background...I'm 55 years old, lived in Central Va all of my life, my mother and sister loved gardening but I didn't get interested until my 30s, I found the garden web a few years ago when I googled antique roses, I love birds and butterflies and have tried to lure them to my garden. I feed the birds, have birdhouses and birdbaths, and plants flowers, trees and shrubs that draw them.
Three years ago we bought this house on a hill so that we could be near my grandchildren( Only a grove of trees is between us- I can pull out of my driveway-count to 45 and pull into theirs!)
When we moved here the soil was just about gone from the property. The hillside is so steep that I have worked really hard to just get stuff in the ground with roots to catch and hold the soil as the rainwater washes it down hill.
Now I want to concentrate the rest of this year and the future trying to increase my plantings of plants and flowers that are proven magnets for butterflies.
I have a couple of butterfly bushes, a memosa tree (just planted 4 more seedlings), purple cone flower, verbena bonariensis, a couple of chocolate joe-pye weed plants, lots of small old garden roses I've just planted in the last year or so, irises, glads, lambs ear, Queen Anns Lace that grows wild here, daylilies, baptisia false indigo, a couple of blanket flower plants, hydrangea,(they don't seem to want to live here), hostas, and various other flowers.
My question is- What are your VERY FAVORITE top 10-20 butterfly magnets that you wouldn't live without in your garden. I would love to mostly stay with natives, but will plant non-natives if they aren't invasive.
I've spent way too much money on roses and finally had to buy a new car after mine kept refusing to run, so I need to find what grows well from seed or are inexpensive to buy.
I live in the country and can 'borrow' a plant or 2 from well established groups of wildflowers along my road. I borrowed a couple of common butterfly weed plants from the side of the road day before yesterday. Only took ONE from each of several large groups. I may just go buy a couple because it is so hot and sunny and I am not strong enough to get a really good root ball. They look like they are dying and I want to cry.
How do I go about locating a local Butterfly Society to join? No listings in our local phone book.
I so enjoyed the threads of the butterfly meadow and MissSherry's rustling of the milkweed plant on the side of the road!
I'm itching to get started. Can you help?
Thanks in advance,