Mariposa, The Flying Flower
We have lots of beautiful flowers blooming in our garden and plenty of veggies to harvest, but we have butterflies on our minds. We’ve been collecting butterfly host and nectar plants to put into our newly designed garden.
We’ve been to the library, book stores, and searched online for ideas on how other people have designed their gardens. We went to the local University of Florida agricultural extension office to check out their bird and butterfly garden. We wanted to see what it will look like when the plants have matured and been through many nights of freezing temperatures. We visited the Butterfly Estates in downtown Ft. Myers to explore their atrium. It was beautiful and the staff spent an hour with my son explaining all the different plants and butterflies. We wanted more.
In our quest for more information we drove to Butterfly World in Coconut Creek (Pompano, Florida). The picture above shows what you could expect immediately upon entering their atrium. You’re not supposed to touch the butterflies, but what if they touch you? This one landed on my daughter’s finger and then on her head.
Butterfly World was worth the trip. We enjoyed flirting with butterflies from all over the world in the beautiful and huge atrium. It was full of rainforest fauna, water features and of course…exquisite butterflies. The hummingbirds whiz by your head. You can get close enough to the hummingbirds to almost touch them. The gardens are lovely too. There are so many different types of passion fruit vine growing that it is difficult to keep track of them all. They are all marked so that you know what you’re looking at and you learn a bit about them.
They have quite a few other things to do while you’re there as well, and their gift shop is huge. You can buy seeds from them that cannot be obtained anywhere else. They also have a small potted plant selection of some very unique butterfly and hummingbird plants. We left there with lots of seed packets, a sky vine plant (thunbergia grandiflora), and some adorable garden sculptures to add to our garden.
We also bought a luna moth cocoon. They told us to pin it somewhere that we can keep a constant eye on it so we don’t miss it coming out. We have it pinned to a curtain with a piece of paper towel behind it.
My kids have learned so much about butterflies and their life cycles with this latest gardening adventure. We can’t wait to see what kinds of little critters our garden will attract. We’ll be out there soon with our magnifying glasses and notebooks.
Come grow with us!