This Knoxville butterfly garden includes Black Eyed Susan and Butterfly Bush planted above a natural stone retaining wall.

This Knoxville butterfly garden includes Black Eyed Susan and Butterfly Bush planted above a natural stone retaining wall.

Although Carex Design Group creates a lot of landscape designs for Knoxville homeowners interested in larger projects such as paver and stone patios, outdoor kitchens, pergolas and pavilions, outdoor living spaces and landscape lighting, we also create landscape designs and manage projects for comparatively simple gardens such as this one that we designed and managed for a couple living in Louisville, Tenn.

This couple, who have been Carex Design Group customers from the beginning, had a simple request — a garden that attracts butterflies.

Butterfly Garden Essentials

When planning a butterfly garden, there are a few essentials, one of which is the need to have plants such as Butterfly Bush, Garden Phlox and Joe Pye Weed that attract and feed butterflies.

It’s also important to incorporate plants that support the larvae and provide food for caterpillars. For that purpose, we chose the aptly-named Butterfly Milkweed, Black Eyed Susan and Purple Coneflower — plants that are all native to East Tennessee. Plus, the garden is located next to an existing grouping of American Beautyberry, which butterflies find very attractive in the spring when the fruit of these plants begin to over-ripen.

Rudbeckia (commonly called Black Eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia (commonly called Black Eyed Susan)

In addition to tasty butterfly food, warmth is another essential for any butterfly garden. Because butterflies like to warm their wings by resting on flat rocks and stones, we chose a space for this garden that receives a significant amount of sunlight and we incorporated a natural boulder retaining wall that was an extension of an existing wall. Some of the rocks that we used also allow water to puddle, which is a secondary means of attracting the butterflies.

Extending an existing retaining wall, the landscape design for this butterfly garden included natural stone boulders and other rocks.

Extending an existing retaining wall, the landscape design for this butterfly garden included natural stone boulders and other rocks.

The combination of proper food, warm rocks and puddling water helps attract and keep butterflies in the garden.

For help incorporating a butterfly garden into your own Knoxville landscaping, fill out our contact form or call at 865-765-5550.

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