|Plant a Butterfly Garden
By Martha Blume
What do mud puddles and rotten fruit have in common? Both attract butterflies. If you want to attract butterflies with something more attractive, plant your own butterfly garden. Its easy and beautiful.
Prepare a bed. Turn over the soil until its soft and crumbly. Or for a container garden for flowers and small bushes, put rocks in the bottom of some pots or planters to allow for drainage. Then add potting soil.
Add compost. If you dont have a compost pile already, make compost by mixing greens (like grass clippings and kitchen vegetable waste) with browns (like dry leaves and straw) with some garden soil (to introduce bacteria). Chop and shred. Ask mom or dad to run over it with the lawn mower. Add water. Stir and voila
Get some good plants that butterflies like. Here are some sure bets to attract the winged wonders:
- Butterfly bush grows like crazy; butterflies love its nectar, but it may get too heavy for a pot.
- Some native shrubs that attract butterflies are sweet pepperbush, spicebush and hackberry.
- Native flowers that attract butterflies include joe-pye weed, trumpet honeysuckle, butterfly-weed, New England aster, cardinal flower, beebalm, bergamot, goldenrod, phlox, columbine and coreopsis.
- Native flowers that are good hosts for caterpillars (which become butterflies) are milkweed and black cohosh.
Why native? Native plants are naturally occurring plants.
- They provide food and shelter for local wildlife.
- They require less care than non-natives because they already are adapted to the soil and the weather.
Why attract butterflies?
- Butterflies arent as common as they used to be; their habitats are being destroyed by development. Butterflies cant live on macadam or grass. They need flowers that provide nectar.
Where to get native plants?
In Chesapeake Country, try Lower Marlboro Nursery, Dunkirk, which specializes in native plants: 301/812-0808 email@example.com.
Or visit Historic London Town and Garden to see native plants anytime and buy them at its annual sale April 28: 410/222-1919.
Sat. April 14 (11am)-Wear funny clothes and have a great time showing off your costumes in the Chesapeake Beach Easter parade. Get some treats from the Easter Bunny. Pre-schoolers, can hunt for colorful Easter eggs. Bring your most beautiful Easter bonnet to win best of the beach bonnet. All ages. 17th St. and Boardwalk, Chesapeake Beach: 410/257-2349.
EGGciting Hide and Seek
Sat. April 14 (2pm)-Seek some cleverly hidden eggs and paint some of your own. Play lots of fun games too to celebrate the holiday.
All ages. Capt. Salem Avery House Museum, Shady Side. rsvp:
Sat. April 14 (10am)-Hop on down the bunny trail and hop onto a fun hayride around the park. The Easter bunny will have some goodies, too. All ages. $2. Kinderfarm Park, Mitchelville. rsvp: 410/222-6115.
Spring into the Garden
Tues. April 17 (10:30am-12pm)-Its spring time again. Help dig in the dirt and plant seeds. Learn how a seed grows into a flower. Wear old clothes, bring mom or dad and a bag lunch. Special treats for everyone. Ages 3-5. Fee: $3. rsvp: Kings Landing Park, Huntingtown: 410/535-5327
Mon. April 16 (10:30am)-Celebrate spring and dress up with a zany springtime hat that you can make yourself. Ages 3-5. Harbour Center, Annapolis: rsvp: 410/266-1447.
Madelines Bad Hat Party
Wed. April 18 (7pm)-Join us as we read Madeline and the Bad Hat Party. Play games like Mexican Hat Dance and have fun when Madeline comes to visit. Ages 3-5. Borders Books, Bowie: 301/352-5560.