Saturday, January 2, 2010

Butterflies in my garden!

Fennel, basil, parsley and sage all attract black swallowtails such as this one above. They are so interesting to watch as they complete their cycles in the garden. I don’t mind sharing with them; I just plant a bit more than I need for the kitchen. This butterfly had just emerged minutes before I took this image. This is what her caterpillar looks like whilst eating my fennel:

The Monarch butterfly eats mainly milk weed (asclepias sp), so it’s important to have at least 2 small plants for them if you want to see beautiful Monarch butterfly chrysalis such as this:

If there were just one reason not to use any broad spectrum pesticides (and there are too many reasons to count), it would be to preserve these beautiful creatures in your garden.

Below is an image of Monarch caterpillars chomping on the milk weed!

It's entirely possible and very beneficial to create an environment where friendly insects can cohabitate with us in the garden. While I understand that some of my clients may not be entirely happy to see a joyful praying mantis after she has eaten her mate (and any other insects that may have the misfortune of being less aggressive than her)…

A butterfly is always a welcome addition to the garden and is enjoyed by all.

Environmental Concept provides earth-friendly landscape services to fine residences and commercial properties in Los Angeles, California. Tania Gybels brought her unique perspective to the world of Los Angeles horticulture in 1991. Her work has been featured on HGTV and Oprah. For more information, please visit