Plants hummingbirds, butterflies adore
I would love to create an oasis for butterflies and hummingbirds to come and enjoy a wide variety of colored flowers in my backyard. There should be milkweed and native plants, as well. It would have to be low maintenance because I have no green thumb when it comes to plants and flowers.
Design by Land Escapes Inc.
Expert: Dean Strom, landescapesinc.com
You asked for native, flowering, butterfly-attracting landscape ideas and I think you'll be off to a great start with these recommendations.
• My favorite butterfly-attracting shrub is buddleia davidii Black Knight, commonly referred to as the butterfly bush. It has large, fragrant, deep purple blooms that last midsummer through fall. It is low maintenance, but your best bet is to prune this shrub way down in spring as blooms grow on new wood. It can handle full sun to partial shade and grows fairly large quickly, so give it about 6 feet of space.
• Echinacea, commonly know as the coneflower, is a native plant to our area and provides delicious food for caterpillars and butterflies to feast on. Echinacea has an array of colors and sizes but one of my favorites is purple coneflower. I suggest planting three to five of these.
• Monarch butterflies cannot survive without milkweed. If you plan to plant milkweed, you should put in at least six plants. Asclepias "tuberosa" is my pick. It's a vibrant orange that flowers most of the summer and can reach about 24 inches tall.
• For all summer color and food for the hummingbirds, try red Salvia. This flower attracts hummingbirds because it has a lot of nectar within the long, tubular flowers. It will also provide color all summer long.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn't consider the winter season when this wildlife is nowhere to be found and your landscape will look barren. Please incorporate ornamental grass in the landscape. It provides winter interest and food. You may also want to install an evergreen or two for winter color and cover for the animals. Green Mountain or Green Gem are great choices.