The 100 foot diet: Attracting birds and butterflies

I love driving out into the country to find a farmers’ market. Covering a few dozen kilometres or more doesn’t faze me a bit if it means scoring super fresh, local produce and maybe a homemade pie as well. But I’m not sure I’d be that enthusiastic about covering long distances for my next meal if I had to get there on wings that spanned a few inches (or less). If you’re of the same mind, check out the post on attracting birds and butterflies by John of John’s Garden in Uxbridge, Ontario. It’s the best guide on providing food (and shelter) for flying critters in your own garden that I’ve come across. Importantly, there’s a special list of plants just for feeding caterpillars (yes, they’re not terribly pretty but you need them in order to get butterflies) organized by type of butterfly. Come next spring, I’ll be using these lists to help me work out what I want to add to my garden. And then I might take the long drive out to John’s Garden. From where I live, it takes a couple of hours but it’s worth it. John’s Garden isn’t like any other kind of nursery I’ve ever seen. It’s inside a pine forest. Literally. Shopping for plants amongst the tall tree trunks is like going for a stroll through the columns of the Alhambra except you can take some of that beauty home and help shorten the trip to dinner for any number of flying neighbours.

Campsis radicans

Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) makes a popular pit stop for hummingbirds.

 

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