Hope's Florida Butterfly Experience

My interest in butterflies started several years ago. Since retiring and having more time now, I have taken a new interest in butterflies. I learned that the survival rate is only 7 % and had been noticing for the last few years that the butterfly population has been steadily decreasing. So I started doing things trying to help increase the populations of several different kinds of butterflies. It was, and still is, a learn as I go project. Swallowtail ButterflySome good must becoming from the effort because I now have a yard full of the beautiful " flying flowers." Among them are Monarchs, Eastern Black Swallowtails, Gulf Fritillaries, Queens, Zebra Longwings and White Peacocks. So far I have released over a thousand butterflies. As an amateur, I only work with species native to Central Florida.Raising and releasing butterflies can be very rewarding, and it helps the survival of our native species.

Hand in hand with raising butterflies is my garden. Butterfly gardening involves planning a garden to attract, retain, and encourage butterfly populations. Passion FlowerSelect a variety of nectar-producing plants with the aim of providing flowers in bloom throughout the season. This will entice a continuous succession of new visitors to the yard. For successful butterfly gardening, it is important to provide food for more than the adult butterflies. The garden must provide for their caterpillar forms as well. Butterfly caterpillars have a limited host range.

Monarch Waystation 1746

Starting sometime in March 2007, I set out just a few plants for a small butterfly garden. Working on it all summer a little at a time as I could only work a short time in the morning before it got too hot. Every time I thought it was done it seemed the garden needed something else. 2 MonarchsAnd so it continues. I have come to the conclusion that my butterfly garden will never be finished. It is always changing and growing. I applied for certification as a Monarch Waystation number 1746 and was thrilled to get the award!