Butterfly Habitat Rain Gardens

The purpose of each of these gardens might seem obvious enough from the name, but understanding the role each plays in your community, state, even the world provides a context for both children and adults. Using the opportunity to educate through gardens, every green enthusiast stands to make global improvements. Let’s call it the Butterfly Garden Effect that every positive motion, even the tiniest swoop of a fluttering wing, contributes to the evolution of a better world for all of us, from the most sentient creatures on the planet to the tiniest contributors.

The Role of Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly gardens contribute three very basic benefits:

  • support for local and migrating butterflies
  • beautification for communities
  • attraction for a broad range of pollinators and other wildlife

Wherever butterflies flutter by, expect to find a wide range of other pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds. It’s the circle of life, as they say, that makes butterfly gardens so crucial to ecosystems. Attracted to color, flavor, fragrance, and texture in your garden, butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, pollinating your garden as they do. Vivid and eye-catching they, in turn, attract a wide variety of prey that belong in your garden

The Role of Habitat Gardens

By nature of the fact that they attract a wide variety of wildlife, butterfly gardens easily double as habitat gardens whenever shrubs and/or trees are incorporated into the design. Essentially, habitat gardens are homes for various insects and animals. Habitat gardens provide:

  • shelter
  • food
  • water
  • protection
  • solace

The Role of Rain Gardens

True to name, rain gardens take advantage of storm runoff to irrigate gardens, but there is a lot more going on beneath the surface. Designed to take advantage of rainwater runoff, rain gardens also:

  • direct water to low spots
  • slow water to negate the possibility of erosion
  • percolate runoff to promote filtering/cleaning of polluted water
  • assist in drainage to minimize standing water zones
  • guide filtered water to bodies such as streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds, and even seas and oceans

To ensure the success and longevity of such your rain garden, incorporate native and noninvasive plants that are up to the task of handling the microclimate forming there. Rain gardens present two main extremes in irrigation: deep wet and extreme dry, from time to time. Native plants that are tolerant of both wet and dry conditions are your best bet. Choosing plants of various root structures, too, will help the garden to do its best filtration work, too. Among the underground portions that help filter minerals, debris, particulate matter, and pollutants are:

  •  shallow, webby roots that filter tiniest particles
  • bulbs, rhizomes, and cormers (combinations) that hinder larger matter passage
  • deep, even tap, roots, that channel runoff to deeper soils and layers

Combining Roles for Your Own Butterfly Habitat Rain Garden

Cultivating a garden that achieves all three purposes is as easy as selecting plants that serve the purpose of each garden style whenever possible. Native plants that provide blooms for adult butterflies and/or act as hosts for their caterpillar offspring may be blended with shrubs and trees that provide shelter for the other wildlife who will come to admire and consume the butterflies. In many cases, shrubs and trees may act as nectar suppliers and/or hosts for butterfly populations as well. Among the native shrubs and trees you might choose for your butterfly habitat rain garden are:spicebush shrubs,butterfly bushes, chokeberry,serviceberry bushes,redbud trees

Each of these shrub and trees offers much to any garden as they are fragrant, beautiful, and excellent hosts for a variety of animals and bugs. Use these as focal points or boundaries to control entry and exit from your garden.