Gardening Fun: Butterfly, Bird and Flower Garden

As I mentioned last week, I’m doing a little gardening segment each week with mini-updates on our garden status. I am lucky to have the help of Money Saving Maine-ac, as I’m merely a newbie and knowledgeable only in tomato plants!

Over the last week, I’ve been trying to decide what I want to do with our yard this year. I stood on my deck for a bit looking around trying to picture what I wanted it to look like or where I’d want things to be. I reflected back to going to the Butterfly Exhibit at Brookfield Zoo the last few years. What a beautifully, magnificent place it was. I could have stayed in there all day watching the butterfly flutter to and fro and even stopping to get some water in the tiny pools of water they had created.  Someday, I’ll have a large butterfly garden like that. But for now, I’m just interested in a mini-version. I found some good articles at HowStuffWorks and TheButterflySite. I’m going to be using the guidelines they offered there for picking out some plants.

Also, our Menards sells these rolled up seed mats that are just full of seeds for flowers that are geared to attracting butterflies. I bought one last year and gave it to my Mom and it did well. So I’m debating if I’m going to go that route or just buy some individual plants. We’ll see what treasures we find as it warms up a bit here.

A few years back, I found this great plant called a Weigela that was discounted at Wal-Mart. It turned into this beautiful bush in our backyard that attracted so many butterflies and even hummingbirds. The red color and long flowers are a huge draw for the hummingbirds. The best image I could find online of one was from a Maxwell Garden Center:

That one is real close to what ours looks like when it blooms. This year, I’m hoping to find another one and those will be my “endcaps” to our butterfly and bird haven. We picked up several bird feeders on clearance last year and the kids loved filling them up and watching the birds eat from them. I think I’m going to look for a discounted bird bath this year, as well.

I’d also love a little “bouquet” flower garden. This would be an area where we could go to cut some flowers for bringing mini-bouquets to people. So far, I’m thinking daisies, carnations and possibly a smaller rose bush.

As far as my veggie garden, I’m still debating if I’m going to do raised beds or if I’m going to bring in some higher-quality soil/compost, etc. I think I’ll have to price them both out and see which one is in our favor. But while scanning Amazon for some gardening books, I found an interesting one on Square Foot Gardening. It talks about making the most of your garden. I have to get my hands on that at our library to see if it’s something I want to pursue or not.

So this week we are working on getting our “gameplan” together and then next week, the kids and I will start to plant our seeds indoors. I think it will be a fun little activity for all of us. I’ll share with you which seeds we end up choosing.

Have you all decided what you are planting this year? Has anyone tried the Square Foot Gardening?

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  1. Nikki says

    This is great! I really really want to do some sort of gardening, although it may be container. We live in a VERY wooded yard and our neighbor across the street has a deer sanctuary–so we have countless deer running around at any given time.

    I look forward to reading your updates.

  2. Jami Lynn says

    We’re trying Square Foot Gardening this year! I haven’t done it yet, but I know a few people who have, and they’ve had great success with it. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

  3. Michele says

    I did square-foot gardening last year for the first time, and it worked great! I did use raised beds, which really makes it easy. I found that I had fewer weeds, and it was a very organized system. I am hoping to do a better job of rotating “crops” this year to get increased production. Good luck!

  4. Richard says

    I too have used those “roll-out” seeded mats and while they do work great for year #1, you’ll find that a lot of what “came up” last year were annuals and that the amount of flowers won’t be as spectacular this year. Still, they’re definitely an easy way to get things moving along and it does give you an option to change things up from year to year if desired. You just need a new/different seeded mat.

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