Attracting wildlife to the garden

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

The Butterfly Bush in my garden is a magnet for a variety of insects on a daily basis.  The bees, wasps, moths and butterflies adore the nectar from this sweet smelling shrub.  Yesterday I was strolling the garden and saw this Monarch Butterfly flittering from blossom to blossom on the Butterfly Bush.  He wasn’t being a good model, but I did manage to get a couple of good shots before he flew away.

Splish Splash

Splish Splash

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the garden.  The sun was shining and it was warm but not humid.  As you can see the birds were enjoying the birdbath in the new garden.  At one point I counted ten birds splashing around like it was their own private swimming pool.  Then Spaz chased them all off except these two.  🙂
Buzzzzzzzzzzzz

Buzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Bees were swarming the Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’ yesterday like crazy.  Do you think they are stocking up for the winter?  I counted at least 20 Bumblebees on this one plant.  This plant has been a bee magnet.   What kinds of wildlife do you enjoy watching in the garden? 
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21 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve been meaning to post about my butterfly bush too. This time of year, it gets lots of “action.” Such a great shrub for butterflies, bees & hummers, isn’t it?? I have a purple (davidii) and yellow (honeycomb), your white is pretty too. Sounds like a perfect day to be outdoors, don’t you love those? That salvia must be wonderful ~ the bees are practically dripping off it! I am gearing up for winter birdwatching…

    It is a insect magnet, I couldn’t imagine my garden without it. I would really like to have a purple variety or the yellow honeycomb, but no room. 🙂 It was a perfect day to observe wildlife in the garden yesterday. Winter birdwatching sounds like fun too.

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  2. I can not wait for next year to see just what my butterfly bush draws to the garden! It never ceases to amaze me just how drawn to this plant they are. I love your birdbath. 🙂 It is always so much fun watching them splash around. We are always visited by lots of birds thanks to that wild blackberry bush. 🙂

    Your Butterfly Bush will be an instant attraction for wildlife in the garden! They adore it. Thanks Cynthia, it is fun to watch the birds playing in the birdbath. The wild blackberry must be a wonderful plant for the birds.

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  3. We even discovered our butterfly bush smelled wonderful after the blossoms were done. We simply cut them off and used them as a dried flower arrangement. Smelled like something sweet and toasty.

    What a great way to enjoy that sweet fragrance for even longer. I love the way Butterfly Bush smells in the garden. 🙂

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  4. Wow, I’ve never had so many bees, at any point of time, on my blooms! Loved the Monarch and your bird-bath. I love to watch birds and dragonflies the most.

    Thanks Kanak! They were happily swarming the Salvia yesterday like there was no tomorrow! Birds & Dragonflies are wonderful too. 🙂

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  5. I like watching those silly birds splashing all over the place. The picture of the bee is a great picture. I can see it flying. P.S. I’ll be mailing your box out today.

    Thanks Tina. They are a lot of fun to watch! 🙂 Thanks for pointing out the bee flying, I just noticed, lol. Thanks, I will keep an eye out for it!!! So exciting!

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  6. Hi, Racquel–The butterfly bushes are SO great this time of year–the white ones especially are so fragrant. My black and blue salvia is the most prolific and so the one that attracts all the bees. Like you, I love attracing butterflies and bees and hummers–but I chased a rabbit off the deck this morning–not so thrilled about that!

    Hi Cosmo! They do seem to be die hard bloomers right up till the first hard frost. I love Black & Blue, it’s still blooming in my garden at the moment too. No rabbits in my garden this year, I think the dogs keep them at bay.

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  7. Racquel — I just took a similar shot of a Monarch on my Honeycomb buddleia this week, too! It posed pretty well because it was above me. I find I have to make sure my shadow doesn’t fall across a butterfly or it frightens them away. The Monarch later flitted across my face and landed on agastache right in front of me, but I had put my camera away during that close encounter.

    Hi Cameron, I’ve found that I need to be quiet, and not sneak up on them too fast. How remarkable that it came that close to your face! They are so pretty with their colorful markings.

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  8. I have a tone of butterflies and the sort on my butterfly bush, wishbones and pineapple sage, very intertaining!

    They are entertaining to observe in the garden. Thanks Darla.

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  9. Great pics! And I know how difficult it is to get those little critters to pose for a pic 🙂

    Thanks Mom! It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to get nature to cooperate. 🙂

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  10. I love all your wildlife in your garden. I wonder if that Monarch came from some of your caterpillars? I guess you will never know but it’s kind of nice to think you may have helped that little guy come into the world, sort of. Don’t you just love watching those little birdies in the bath? They are so entertaining.

    Thanks Susie! Wouldn’t that be something if that butterfly came from my caterpillars, what a nice thought. The birds crack me up when they start splashing around. Sometimes they take dirt baths in the garden, and that is pretty hilarious too. 🙂

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  11. Butterfly Bush — another plant to add to my ever-growing Wish List. I love the photo of the bee just ready to make a landing…I wonder if they have air traffic controllers? 😉

    A great addition to any garden to attract wildlife. How funny Nancy, air traffic controllers, lol.

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  12. Posted by greenwalks on October 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Wish we had Monarchs in Seattle but I think we’re out of their range. I think I saw a Swallowtail the other day, though, and that was pretty cool! Lots of flicker activity lately (NW woodpecker), plus the bees are doing their thing wherever they can find something left, asters and trailing rosemary seeming to be the most likely targets. Nice pics!

    Swallowtails are pretty butterflies too. Sounds like you have activity in your neck of the woods too GW. Thanks!

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  13. I don’t have a butterfly bush anymore, sad to say. But so many other plants seem to draw insects: the bees love the varieties of perennial salvia and nepeta (anything purple), and the butterflies are attracted to the sedum and asters. And you know I have praying mantises that seem to like everything in my garden:)

    There are so many great insect attracting plants out there. I couldn’t imagine my garden without the Butterfly Bush though. It smells so good. You have tons of Praying Mantis, I never see them in my garden. Maybe I need to look harder. 🙂

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  14. hey pgl
    i adore butterfly bushes. i haven’t planted any here yet but have had them at my other houses and love them. nice capture of the monarch.

    Hi Marmee, I do too. The colors they come in and their sweet fragrance makes them a great addition to any garden. Thanks. 🙂

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  15. Our Mystic Spire attracts those Bumbles just like yours does. The hummingbirds also like it. As far as other wildlife we have the occasional deer family visit, bunches of bunnies, the birds, and Murray the groundhog. Those butterfly bushes sure are magnets for the butterflies!

    Mystic Spires is a great attractor of bees & hummingbirds. This is my first year with it and I am sold on it. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with deer, bunnies or groundhogs though. Too much wildlife! lol Your butterfly bush will be a great source of nectar next year for the butterflies in your area. 🙂

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  16. I love watching birds splash around in the bath. That’s great that you had so many in there at once. I usually only have one maybe two at a time…maybe they are shy!

    Me too Cindy, they are so much fun. 😉 I’ve never seen that many at once, it was like they were having their own private pool party. lol

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  17. Those butterfly bushes are truly great for attracting all sorts of creatures. I have even seen a praying mantis on mine enjoying a meal of Painted Lady. I may have to move mine next year as it is getting more shade now than when first planted. I noticed I didn’t have nearly the growth or blooms this year. I have the dark purple and would love to have a white one, also.

    Mine gets full sun most of the day and seems to enjoy it. I don’t have to give it supplemental watering or fertilizer. The insects are just attracted to it like a magnet! I would love to have a purple variety in my garden. I love the color purple!

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  18. A lovely post, Racquel. I don’t believe ever seeing as many bees as this year. Love butterflies that have seemed a bit shy about visiting for the first time in ages (though the ones that did filled my heart and camera with song).

    Thanks Joey! The Bumblebees have been plentiful this year in the garden. I’ve noticed more butterflies in my garden this year, but then again I paid more attention because of the blog. lol 🙂

    Reply

  19. We have several butterfly bushes in our yard. We are considering planting a row of them next to a fence which is right outside of our sunroom. What a sight when the bushes are in bloom and butterflies are everywhere!

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  20. I enjoy all of the above! Those are some great examples of attracting wildlife.

    The bees here are clinging to the remaining blooms – they seem to prefer the sunflowers, but that may be because they are always in the sun. I think it won’t be long before most of the little insects are tucked away until next year.

    Reply

  21. […] Wildlife Gardener’s Guide,” which is good because many of us want to attract birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as a variety of small […]

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