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I've been gardening and writing about gardening for more than 20 years, yet I find I'm always learning new things about the plants, insects and other critters that call my backyard home. That's the great thing about gardening — it's never boring! I've worked as a landscaper, on an organic farm, as a research technician in a plant pathology lab and ran a small cut-flower business, all of which inform my garden writing. Someone once asked me when I'll be finished with my gardens, to which I replied, "Never!" For me, gardening is a process, not a goal.
This garden features plants that will attract butterflies all season long. In spring, the orange milkweed foliage provides food for monarch butterfly larvae. Summer brings continuous blooms in a rainbow of hues. And come autumn, the nectar-rich, fall-blooming aster helps monarch adults fuel up for their migration.
Most of the perennial varieties were chosen for their relatively compact form so they won't overwhelm the bed once they reach their mature size. Feel free to substitute plants. And rather than crowding in additional perennials, try filling in any first-year gaps with additional annual flowers, until the perennials reach their full size.
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Last updated: 6/13/19
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