Butterfly Garden

This year instead of putting my gardening efforts into another doomed vegetable garden, I decided to plant a butterfly garden. Before hitting the garden shop I printed out these extensive lists of butterfly friendly flowers and shrubs recommended by NC State’s horticulture department. Having a specific shopping list made it so much easier to not be overwhelmed by the rows and rows of plants yelling “Hey, pick me!” (Can anyone else hear them, or am I crazy?)

Last weekend my Dad came over to bring me some salvia and help me plant, and he dug 7 or 8 holes in the time it took me to dig one! I dig like such a girl. Below are the perennial lovelies that now live in my garden, along with Armeria, Rock Foil, Butterfly Weed, and Butterfly Bush (which aren’t pictured because they’re not doing anything particularly pretty yet). I’m also planting parsley, since butterfly caterpillars love to nibble it. If you see any butterflies this week, tell them to stop by. Have you ever planted a butterfly garden?

what to plant in a butterfly garden


  1. carrie

    Lovely photos, I’ve been planting Verbena this week at the nursery. Hanging baskets and tubs are the best job :) I do love Verbena though. One of my faves.

    Hope you get some butterfly’s your way.

  2. Maja

    That’s a beautiful idea. I planted some herbs like basil, mint and parsley, but I had to rescue them from the snails. Now they live on the window and the garden has yet to be planted again. We did however, set up a compost area today!!! Yay for happy rainworms and humus.

  3. Nimenos

    I am very happy this year with my first vegetable garden… my tomatos, zuchini, peppers, and lettuces are growing very healthy, I gess the hot weahter helps…

  4. John

    Ah, but Amanda I have many years experience digging myself into holes. I love helping you plant and work your garden.

  5. Erin

    I have never planted one but that sounds like such an amazing idea! In Oklahoma right now, there is some kind of migration going on. We have all these butterflies and a lot of them are a kind that never come this far north! Good luck with all your pretty friends!

  6. Gabriela N.

    oh, I forgot to say, the latest post on my blog is a recipe for lemon cookies I got here on your blog, I hope that’s ok.

    (sorry for the bad english, I’m from Brazil)

  7. Kristen

    I don’t know if it will make you feel better or not, but you are not the only person that can “hear” the flowers talking to you at the store! I always have a plan, and then when we get there I am super overwhelmed and want to take all the pretty flowers home. And actually, that’s how we ended up with our butterfly bushes years ago – they were so pretty (well, and they attract butterflies too). But holy cow! They get really big. Like taller than the house, big! But I never trim them down (only in the fall) because when they are that high, walking to the front door is like walking through a maze covered with butterflies. I love that! :-)

  8. Shelly

    oh your garden is so beautiful! I love foxglove, and meadow sage, and, well all of them! You’re not alone with plants talking to you, I’m pretty sure they all are calling my name when i walk in the garden center, especially herbs! I have a weak spot for herbs.
    Good luck with your garden, I hope you get some pretty butterflies headed your way and you share some photos =)

  9. Stacey

    These are so beautiful! You take lovely pictures. I have verbena, pin cushion and lipstick salvia in my garden and they really do attract lots of butterflies. I’m also getting hummingbirds to the salvia. The pin cushion is going crazy with flowers and seems to bloom non-stop. I love all of these. Great choices! Spring is the most amazing time of the year. It makes me happy!

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