Butterfly Gardens – 5 PLANT RECIPE

This “recipe” for a Butterfly Banquet comes to us from an excellent book I recently checked out of the Hamilton Library: Five-Plant Gardens (635.932 OND) by Nancy J Ondra, garden writer and editor as well as the former owner and operator of a small rare-plant nursery.  Artfully arranged with a wide variety of vibrant planting layouts there is sure to be a Five-Plant Garden for any taste.  The beautiful Butterfly Banquet below, is only one of 52 captivating gardens in this book, suitable for sun or shade and a range of soils.  Check it out from your local library or independent bookstore for simple to follow perennial garden “recipes” with easy planting tips, as well as a detailed “shopping list” and design for the Butterfly Banquet below!

Butterfly Banquet
(full sun to partial shade)

Five-Plant Gardens by Nancy J. Ondra

  • SWAMP MILKWEED – Asclepias incarnata 
    OR:  BEE BALM – Monarda ‘Marshall’s Delight’
    OR:  JOE PYE WEED – Eupatorium dubium ‘Little Joe’
  • CONEFLOWER – Echinacea purpurea ‘Little Swan’ 
    OR: PHLOX – Phlox paniculata ‘David’ 
    OR: TURTLEHEAD – Chelone glabra ‘Black Ace’ 
  • RUSSIAN SAGE – Perovskia x ‘Little Spire’
    OR: GLOBE THISTLE – Echinops ritro ‘Longwood Blue’ 
    OR: BLUEBEARD – Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’ 
  • YARROW – Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’
    OR: GLORIOSA DAISY – Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’ 
    OR: SHASTA DAISY – Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Sonnenschein’ 
  • PINCUSHION FLOWER – Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ 
    OR: CATMINT – Nepeta faassenii ‘Kit Kat’ 
    OR: ENGLISH LAVENDER – Lavandula angustifolia 

BOOK REVIEW: the naturescaping workbook

naturescaping workbookBeth O’Donnell Young‘s Naturescaping Workbook is an invaluable resource when planning a natural backyard oasis.  I recently borrowed a copy from the library, and made a few notes about plants that feed Butterflies, Moths, Caterpillars and Beneficials (see below).  Make sure to get your own copy of The Naturescaping Workbook from your library or independent bookstore to read in more detail, how to support nature in your backyard with the plants I’ve noted here!


Betula (Birch)
Cornus (Dogwood)
Fraxinus (Ash)
Malus (Crabapple)
Populus (Cottonwood, Poplar)
Prunus (Cherry, Plum)
Quercus (Oak)
Salix (Willow)


Cephalanthus (Buttonbush)
Lavandula (Lavender)
Ribes (Currant)
Syringa (Lilac)
Vaccinium (Blueberry)
Viburnum (Various)
Yucca (Adam’s Needle)


Asclepias (Milkweed)
Aster (Aster)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)
Monarda (Bee Balm)
Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
Sedum (Stonecrop)
Veronica (Speedwell)