It’s that time of year again in New England, SPRING. It’s time to start thinking about planting.

This blog will explain how to plant a butterfly garden that will attract many different kinds of butterflies.

First, you will need to establish an area in your yard that is free from pesticides. Once you have your location, you can put a boarder down to keep the soil from eroding. Natural large rock work excellent as a boarder. Put down a weed mat or a cardboard base. The weed mad or cardboard will act as a weed barrier. Pour soil into the contained area and rake until it’s level. Once the soil and outside temp is above 50 degrees, you can start planting your magnificent garden.

I just started a new garden. I have several on my property. I chose an area in my back yard and I decorated it with colorful solar lights, bird feeders for now (which will be changed to flowers in the late Spring). I dedicated it to our sweet rescue dog Charlie that recently passed away in March of 2023. Click below to see our rescue story https://arose4sharon.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/rescue-me-part-4-of-a-5-part-series/

As soon as it gets warm enough I will begin planting. I will be planting a variety of butterfly attracting flowers such as cone flowers, liatris, dahlia, zinnas, butterfly bush and phlox to name a few.

Host plants are a necessity in your garden. Swallowtails will lay their eggs on parsley, dill and fennel. Monarch will only lay their eggs on milkweed plants. Milkweed is great due to the fact not only do the monarchs lay eggs on the plant, it also produces beautiful fragrant flowers for the monarch butterfly to feed on. Note: Milkweed is very spready and will overtake your area if you do not pick the pods once they pop. When my pods pop, I collect the seeds and either sell them or make seed packets and teach others how to make a butterfly garden. Note: Milk week seeds need to “overwinter” meaning keep them in a very cool/cold place before planting. I put mine in the basement for a few months, then transfer them to the freezer 30-60 days prior to planting outside in the ground.

I will be posting an update as soon as the garden is establised and growing.

If you would like to purchase a butterfly garden seed starter kit, please email me with your name and address, then venmo me @sharon-connors $10.00, or you can donate directly through my St. Jude’s page. I am on the St. Jude’s volunteer committee this year. The kit contains fennel & dill seeds (Host plants for swallowtails) and Wild flower mix which includes milk weed seeds (Host plants for Monarchs) Below are the 3 seed packets you will receive in the kit and I will throw in a complimentary seed packet of forget me nots which are a lovely blue color!! Below the seed packet photos are actual photos of my back yard and house with monarchs, swallowtails and caterpillars!!

I will mail you the packet with instructions. ALL PROFITS ARE DONATED TO ST. JUDE’S CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. My Official St. Jude’s Page https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Walk/Walk?pg=personal&fr_id=144744&px=6705100

All the below pictures are from my own back yard

Are diamonds really a girls best friend?

Brown Bats

One warm fall evening I was down in my basement taking the dogs out into their fenced in area to do their business before bed.  As I walked down the stairs, turned the corner, I could have sworn I heard something fly by my head like a small drone or something with wings?  I dismissed it because I had 2 glasses of wine.  Oops my bad.   I went back upstairs and forgot about it.

I forgot about it until it happened 3 nights later.  What on earth could that be flying around in my basement?  I ran upstairs and shut the door.  The next day I looked all over the basement without finding anything.  Again, I figured I was hearing things.

Fast forward from October to a VERY COLD December.  I was once again in the cellar taking the dogs out. 

I happened to glance up at the tall ceiling that led up to the garage.  What did my wondering eyes did I see, but a hairy blob of something huddled in the corner.  I was hoping it was just a large gathering of dust.  The more I looked at it, the more it looked like it had hair.  I ran upstairs and got my camera.  I zoomed in on it and took several photos.  I blew the photos up on the computer so i could see what it was.

It was a brown bat.   Brown bat images It must have flown into the garage and then made it’s way into the cellar when the doors were open back on that warm day in October.  I was grossed out but also delighted I wasn’t imagining things after only 2 glasses of wine.  Things flying around my head in the basement in the dark is very scarey.

Now I am thinking.  How on earth will I get that out of my house?   I grabbed a large fishing net and managed to get it into the net.  It sort of just fell into the net like it was sleeping.  

Don’t worry about the next part, because (spoiler alert) the brown bat lived.

I ran outside with the bat in the net and tossed both the net and the bat out into the cold snow.  As I started to close the door behind me I turned around to look at the bat.  It was shivering and cold.  I felt so bad.  Even though I was scared and had the heebie jeebies  Urban Dictionary  I ended up bringing the bat back inside, but just into the garage.  I placed it into a shoe box with a cover. I went back into the house and did some research on how to care for a bat.  There were so many websites and great information.   I was able to warm up a potato, put it in the box next to the bat to keep it warm.  Of course it was still out in the garage in case it got loose.

After about 20 minutes of research I found out that there are people who actually take in the bats in the winter (or anytime) and rehab them.  


I was so exited.  I found a semi local place to take the bat.  It was an hour away.  Oh yeah, just what I wanted to do on a Sunday.  I had no choice though.  I love animals and couldn’t bare to see the poor thing die.  

I went back into the garage to check on the bat only to hear it flopping around in the shoe box.  Oh wow, I woke it up from it’s hibernation with the warm potato.  I called the phone number from the website and spoke to the lady who rehabs bats.  She said to bring it right over.  

My husband and I got into the truck and drove an hour to Greenfield, Mass where we met with the very nice lady.  She carefully opened the cover of the box and picked up the brown bat.  She stroked it gently and talked to it.  She told me it was just a baby.  She then explained how she would hydrate the bat and then take it up to her bat room and let it go back into hibernation until the spring when she would release it.  

I was proud of myself for overcoming the stereotypes of bats and looking into how to save instead of just tossing it outside.  

There are so many things bats are good for.  Insect and mosquito control are very important along with spreading polen


My dad made me a bat house as a gift.  Thank you Dad!!  I of course had to decorate it with bats.