Welcome to the Lepidoptera Buffet where all kinds of butterflies come to dine!
For several years, we’ve noodled with the idea to design and grow a butterfly garden. As nature photographers, it is normal to find us sitting amongst the Coneflowers and Bee Balm with a camera perched upon a small tripod and the macro lens focused, waiting patiently for that special moment.
As time has passed, our environmental awareness has grown deeper with appreciation for these fragile, winged creatures. Early investigations taught us to build a habitat rather than merely a “pretty flower garden.” By growing plants native to the region and providing host plants and nectar plants, the butterflies have sustainable food sources along their migration routes.
In 2005, we became acquainted with The Monarch Watch which was established in 1992 by Professor Chip Taylor (KU), Director of the Monarch Watch. This program has inspired our interest to do something rather than just noodle about it. We bought host plants and nectar plants and started.
With the warm winter of 2012, we shifted our focus to expand into what is now The Lepidoptera Buffet. Tilling began and early morning hours were spent studying the many different kinds of native plants, and who eats what. Repurposed containers like egg cartons and margarine tubs filled a table in the back room as tender seedlings emerged from damp soil, hungry for the warmth of the sun.
Butterfly weed, Swamp Milkweed, Rue, Parsley, Scabiosa, Daisies, and many other host plants and nectar plants are now growing. The butterflies are arriving, more with each day!
Our long-time decision to avoid pesticides was further supported with a recent news release regarding Colony Collapse Disorder now authenticates the disastrous effects of pesticides upon our winged friends, and ultimately upon our entire food source.