There’s a garden mid-way between Lake George and Saratoga that was designed this spring to be a habitat spot; full of native plants that attract butterflies and songbirds. The garden is happily located on a farm, so there is more than the average amount of wildlife rambling through. The photo above shows our Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush- the only non-native plant in the garden. It is however, non-invasive and superior in every way to the Lilac, which fills the same niche in the garden. In the Saratoga/Lake George gardening region, Lilacs are heavily overused to attract butterflies. Then the homeowners go about trimming them at the wrong time in the season and they fight back by developing messy watersprouts from the roots that spread throughout the garden and lawn. Save yourself a headache- swap out Lilac for Buddleia in every situation.
Here’s our New England Aster and the Liatris we started from corms (like a small, oddly shaped bulb.) The Aster will add gorgeous color to the autumn garden and give respite and nourishment to the local Monarch Butterfly population. Growing Liatris from corms is exceptionally cost effective and easy. It does take more patience but blooms usually do develop the first year. It’s roughly $.75/corm or $10-$12/full grown Liatris plant.
Here is our Swamp Milkweed: more Butterfly food insurance. As I worked today, the seasonally appropriate butterflies were attracted to these plants, even now. Swallowtails, Buckeyes, Skippers, Painted Ladies and I think a couple female Karner Blues fluttered by.