Throughout history, butterflies have been a subject of fascination for children and adults alike. Many ancient civilizations believed that butterflies were symbols of the human spirit. For example, the Greeks thought that a new human spirit was born every time a butterfly emerged from its cocoon. They used the word “psyche” for butterflies and the soul. Butterflies were also seen as symbols of joy and the essence of happiness. 

Ancient Europeans believed that the human spirit embodied the form of a butterfly and saw them with great respect and sometimes even fear. Born of a cocooned caterpillar, butterflies were also a symbol of the rebirth, regeneration, happiness, and joy of Indigenous peoples in Mexico.

Roald Dahl once said, “those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. Butterflies are truly magical beings. Their fluttering wings leave tiny vibrations and are believed to make plants happier. So when butterflies are present, you know you are on the right track with your garden.

Butterflies have existed for over 50 million years and evolved at least 150 million years ago. The butterfly undergoes a complete metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the process by which the caterpillar disappears into a cocoon and later emerges as a butterfly or moth. To this day, the mechanism of the metamorphosis of caterpillars (and the human psyche) remains a mystery to science.

Planning your butterfly garden

Butterflies are an integral part of the ecosystem. Their primary function in nature is the pollination of flowers and, consequently, the production of fruits and seeds. Sadly butterflies are in danger! They are very fragile to environmental changes caused by pollution, deforestation and climate change. Butterflies are recognised as indicators of biodiversity and a sign of a healthy environment. The disappearance of these beautiful and magical creatures is serious.
Attract these fantastic creatures to your garden through simple design techniques and, of course, by planting the right flowers.

Butterflies resting near a water source.

So call in the magic!

  • Choose an area in your garden that is sheltered from the wind.
  • Plant caterpillar food or host plants, which includes native plants and colourful flowers full of nectar. Butterflies like pink, white and red flowers. Check the list below.
  • Plant flowers with a flat surface to make it easier for butterflies to land. They are attracted to the colours red, yellow, orange, pink, purple and blue.
  • Place water in the garden. Either a small pond or a tray of water. 
  • Add some flat rocks for when the butterflies want to bask in the sun.
  • Stagger the planting of flowers, so butterflies have food all year round.
  • Never use pesticides, even biological ones, in your butterfly garden, as you may kill your guests.

Moths and butterflies have a fine powder on their wings which help them fly.  Never pick up butterflies by the wings, as you may damage their wings.

Hot BUZZ: Downloadable PDF to learn more about butterflies and moths!

Helping out with some sweet kiwi.

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