Monday, August 5, 2013

Butterflies, Phlox, and the Dog Days of Summer

This year we planted phlox, known for attracting butterflies, in our front garden.  We've yet to see butterflies fluttering around them, but I'm sure it's because the plants are young, and I am hopeful that next year, they will be fuller and most attractive to butterflies! Either way they are beautiful pink flowers and we've enjoyed them so much, we plan to add more next year - certain, then, to attract more butterflies!

As we've moved into the month of August, with our full gardens, cicadas, bumblebees, and the occasional butterfly, I began thinking of things I'd like to do before the end of summer. A bike ride along a new trail, a local art festival, an outdoor concert, and making a butterfly feeder.  (Can you tell I'm determined to lure those butterflies?)

I actually had never thought of making a butterfly feeder, but flipping through my favorite summer book, I came across instructions and found it quite simple. So consider this wonderful activity as you enjoy your dog days...

Butterfly on Phlox
Photo credit: DrPhotoMoto via Photopin
Butterfly feeder

Materials needed:

Silk flowers
Small glass jar with lid
Strong adhesive glue or glue gun
Awl and hammer
Length of string or twine

  1. Make the butterfly nectar by combining 1 part sugar and 9 parts water.
  2. Glue silk flowers onto the outside of the jar and to the lid to attract butterflies.
  3. Poke a small hole in the lid of the jar with an awl and hammer. Fill the jar with butterfly nectar, then screw the lid tightly onto the jar and poke a small piece of cotton into the hole.
  4. Invert the jar, tape the length of string to the bottom, and hang it in a sunny corner of your garden.
Summer: A User's Guide is a wonderful book by Suzanne Brown, filled with everything summer, from recipes to activities to seasonal trivia.  We love it in our summer gift basket, and it makes a great summer gift all on its own!

Have a happy day!

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