A few years ago, I got the notion of having a butterfly-shaped flower bed. It was reader Sue Arnold from Okeechobee, Florida that gave me the idea. She has a huge garden in the shape of a zebra longwing, and I wanted to create something similar in my own yard.
Of course, I needed it to be on a much smaller scale, so I loaded up my kids in the car and we went to the old garden center in hopes of some inspiration. We found 3 foot lengths of short decorative fencing that was flexible and easy to handle. It only cost about $12 or so for the entire supply.
Back home, we shaped and trimmed the fencing as needed until we had a butterfly to everyone’s liking. Then we put down cardboard along the bottom, filled it with soil, added our plants and topped it with mulch. This picture was taken early in the season, and our little butterfly did great all summer. This year, we’re hoping to fill it with annuals to make it a nectar patch no butterfly can resist.
To create a similar butterfly-shaped flower bed, look for the story in our May issue of Birds & Blooms Extra (we’ve called in the professionals for expert advice and plant recommendations).