Gosling Wildlife Gardens 1

Garden One: The Butterfly, Moth and Hummingbird Garden

Map of the Gosling Wildlife Gardens

The house in this garden would be located at the north end, attached to the deck.

A garden for butterflies is a garden of colour, nectar, shade, light, water and protection from the wind.  The beds on either side of the path contain flowers rich in colour and nectar.

On your left, beyond the flower beds, you'll see the pond.  Around the pond, nectar producers such as Joe-Pye-weed and cardinal flower have been planted; these are excellent hummingbird-attracting plants.  Water sources, like this pond, are important for butterflies.  In addition, this pond is visited by song sparrows, robins, goldfinches and other birds and is the home of goldfish, dragonflies, green frogs, diving beetles and many other aquatic organisms.

Go a short way along the path and you will see a path and an arbour to your right.  This leads to a pear tree and a lawn incorporating white clover.  Since butterfly-attracting plants are great nectar producers, honey bees and bumble bees also benefit from their presence in the garden.  Pear trees flower in the spring and provide an important early nectar source for bees.  The sedum and bergamot attract bees, butterflies, hummingbird moths and hummingbirds in late July and early August.  Plants such as nicotiana or datura growing at the edge of the clover, give off their sweet fragrance at night and are visited by moths.

Between the deck and the pond is a bed planted with both woody and herbaceous species that are food for the larva of butterflies and moths.  While we may enjoy butterflies it is easy to forget that each one was once a caterpillar and these caterpillars have very specific food needs.  Included in this bed are parsley, dill or fennel for black swallowtails, nettles for red admirals and hollyhocks for painted ladies.

Garden 2 >

For more information about the Gosling Wildlife Gardens or to make a donation, please contact arbor@uoguelph.ca.

Back to the Gosling Wildlife Gardens main page