It's one of the many joys in a gardener's life when they can stand by the window and watch the fruits of their labor being appreciated by wildlife. This can mean any range of wildlife from bees to birds and everything in between, as they're all attracted to the bright, vibrant colors of a garden as well as the nutrients within it. Gardens are excellent ways to encourage pollination and while they bring us great joy as human beings, they become the perfect way to give a little back to the environment around us.
It can be tricky business, though, attracting a bird such as a hummingbird, because they are quite elusive. Certain butterflies also enjoy keeping to themselves and while they will flutter around a garden, it's a challenge sometimes to make them feel safe enough to land. It's not impossible, though, if you've got the right types of plants and have checked off every box on their 'must have' list for landing.
Consider Planting Organic
Pesticides might keep away predatory insects and other pests but it's a double-edged sword. While it's helpful in the short-term, it can be incredibly harmful in the long-term as pesticides are harmful to helpful insects such as bees and birds.
In an effort to eliminate all of the harmful pests immediately, gardeners might be unintentionally killing off helpful organisms that are necessary to the ecosystem and this could be why butterflies and birds, especially, avoid your garden. There are other, more natural ways of going about warding off unwanted pests that don't include using pesticides.
Food And Water Are A Necessity
When a butterfly or hummingbird sees a spot to land that's colorful and looks appealing, step one is checked off the list. The following steps include food and water - two necessary things for a pollinator to feel safe. This is why bird feeders that are made specifically for hummingbirds, filled with sugar water or nectar, are a great way to lure them in and show them that your garden is a safe place to land.
Additionally, butterflies are a bit trickier but are still easy to figure out. They get nutrients from muddy water puddles that often collect salt so, if there happens to be a bit of muck throughout your garden, leave it alone! You can also install a small birdbath which might bring them in, as well.
Flowers Rich In Both Nectar And Pollen Are Key
If nothing else, planting a garden that has flowers rich in both of these things is the first step and might even be enough, depending on the area a gardener lives in. Without plants that are rich in pollen or nectar, there's no chance that a hummingbird or butterfly will stick around very long - but the good news is that these flowers are very easy to find, plant, and take care of.
The most common flowers used for this purpose are wildflowers, along with marigolds which will help keep out unwanted pests, purple coneflower, zinnia, hollyhock, dianthus, butterfly bushes, alyssum, and even daylilies. For hummingbirds, begonia, dahlia, foxglove, gladiolus, geranium, lilies, impatiens, and petunia are all great options that are also easy to take care of.
Map It Out And Create A Flow
It helps to get an idea of what you want your garden to look like before planting it which is why mapping one help can really help. With flowers such as wildflowers, which have a tendency to spread, it's important to know what can be put next to them or around them in an order that makes sense.
It's also important to figure out which part of a garden these insects and birds will be wanted in - especially if a garden is a home to multiple plants such as fruits and vegetables, as well.
Something As Simple As An Herb Can Attract All Kinds Of Pollinators
Herbs such as sage and lavender are great ways to attract butterflies, specifically, and their visits can only mean one thing: extra pollination for your plants! Other herbs such as fennel, dill, and parsley are all favorites of the butterfly because they have wide leaves that are perfect for making a safe landing.
It's important to remember, according to The Spruce, that with butterflies come caterpillars that might eat some of the herbs. This is completely normal and while it's a bit unsettling at first, it's good to remember that herbs will always continue growing, and caterpillars will eventually grow into butterflies - which will come back and help your garden continue to grow.