A colorful program on creating butterfly gardens was given by Becky Dudrey at the March Garden Club meeting in Great Bend. Using the magazine Birds and Blooms as a resource, Dudrey shared photos of the 10 most popular butterfly species, and described the best plants to attract butterflies.
Flowers appropriate for our area include salvia, penta, asters, lantana, marigolds, and butterfly bush. Wild weeds like butterfly milkweed also act as a host plant for butterflies as they are a good food source for the caterpillars. Holly hocks and violets provide good places to deposit eggs.
A muddy area somewhere in the garden or moistened sand is helpful to provide a source of water. Trees such as ash and willows provide shelter.
Scented flowers which also are a draw for butterflies with their fragrance as well as their nectar include oriental lilies, dianthus, lily of the valley, sweet iris, and sweet alyssum. Larger plants include lilacs and mock orange. Another interesting idea is to provide fruit such as bananas or strawberries placed in a dish of water. The water keeps the ants away.
A little planning can provide interesting hours of viewing these “flying flowers” during both the spring and the fall of the year.
During the meeting the club members enjoyed delicious coffee cake served by hostess, Eileen Ingersol.
The next meeting will be held on April 17 with Bonnie Sarff as hostess and Joyce Essmiller giving the program. Pam Sweeney announced tentative plans for a field trip to Heartland Farms near Pawnee Rock for the May meeting.