Friday, June 10, 2011

Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds

Jan and Marian presented a seminar on attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Both women are experienced gardeners and, though they have been gardening for years, get excited by every hummingbird and butterfly that visits their respective flowers. Last summer, Marian noticed eggs on the Asclepias tuberosa, aka butterfly weed and Asclepias incarnata aka milkweed. A project was born! The Monarch butterfly eggs were collected and placed in a terrarium with a screened lid. As the eggs developed into chrysalises, the watch began. Marian and Jan took lots of photographs tracking the metamorphosis of the butterflies.

As the time grew near for the butterflies to emerge, coworkers and customers stood nearby to watch the first flights of these winged wonders. Marian and Jan told the story of this summer project with a slide show.

Hummingbirds are regular visitors to many of our staff member's gardens.

We have learned through trial and error which plants attract the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. Most of us also use hummingbirds feeders to keep these diminutive creatures nearby.

And, our signs at Valley View Farms depict whether a plant is attractive to the hummingbirds and butterflies. We strongly suggest that little if any pesticides be used on or around the garden where hummingbirds and butterflies may be feeding.

The photographs were taken by Jan and Marian. Many were viewed during the seminar. They were fascinating! Thanks for sharing, ladies.