Bird feeders are all the rage, but what about our other winged friends? Butterflies are great pollinators, contribute to the biodiversity and add an air of whimsy to your garden. In a few minutes these simple butterfly feeders, with a ‘butterfly bath’ thrown in, will attract and feed all the butterflies in your garden (and maybe some from your neighbours’ gardens too).
- Find an old tray or basket lying around the house. Anything with a large, flat surface will do.
- In the centre, place a bowl you won’t mind leaving outdoors, leaving some space around the edges. If you plan on hanging the feeder it is best to attach the bowl to the tray with some glue so that it doesn’t shift around.
- Fill the bowl with water and add a few stones for the butterflies to land on. Make sure the waterline ends below the stones, so the tops of the stones stay dry.
- Chop up some old fruit and place it on the tray around the bowl. Butterflies love rotting fruit so the longer you leave it there the better.
- Tie a string around the tray or basket and hang it from a tree, or simply place it on a flat surface somewhere in the garden and watch the butterflies come to you.
For the second of the butterfly feeders we went with bright colours and sweet nectar to attract butterflies to the garden.
- Place a terracotta tray on top of an upside-down terracotta pot and fill it with pebbles.
- Make a light syrup by dissolving 1 part sugar in 10 parts water. Dip a sponge in the syrup to soak up the liquid and place it in the middle of the tray.
- Cut fruit into wedges and place them around the sponge. Decorate the tray with flowers.
- Place the feeder in a secluded part of the garden.
- Change the fruit regularly and dip the sponge in the solution every couple of days.