Blue Heron's Butterfly Garden

(Tiger Swallowtail visiting the garden)

Thanks to the hard work of Eagle Scout candidate Eric Taylor and his family we have a new butterfly garden at the Preserve. The garden is designed with native nectar and host plants to nourish the life cycle of butterflies. In our garden we have, butterfly weed, black eyed susans,and joe pye weed to name a few of our nectar plants. Also, in the garden are parsley and soon to be added fennel plants to host the hatching caterpillar eggs, butterflies lay their eggs on the host plants, and the young hatch out with a ready food supply at hand.

(Monarch caterpillar feasting on butterfly weed)

Also, in our garden are hummingbirds, who are just now visiting at many nectar feeders. According to Atlanta Audubon, these tiny birds must add one third of their weight before October to make the fly away trip home over the gulf of Mexico. The best nectar mix is an easy one you can make at home. Heat 1 part sugar to 4 parts water to the boiling point in the microwave, extra nectar can be kept fresh in your refrigerator until needed. Choose a feeder with some red on it, hummers are attracted by color and red is one of their favorites! Supplement your garden with native tubular nectar plants such as red salvia, also recommended are, bee balm foxglove, jewelweed, verbena and zinnia.

(The hummingbird feeder at Blue Heron)