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Cultivating a special home in your yard for butterflies will introduce your children to a world of beauty and wonder. It's a project that you and your family will enjoy in the planting stages, and long after.There are five basic things to remember when planning a butterfly garden:

1. Butterflies love sunlight! Whether you choose to plant a traditional garden or a container garden, make sure that the plants are in direct sunlight for much of the day.

2. Butterflies like to "puddle." Your garden needs a sort of watering hole for the butterflies to drink from. This can be done by simply filling a terra cotta pot or small plastic bucket with small rocks or pebbles about two inches from the brim. Add water to fill the remaining space. Place the puddle in the center of your garden.

3. Butterflies like lots of color! Group clusters of the same plant together to make them easier for butterflies to see. A group of colorful flowers attracts them easier than single flowers.

4. Butterflies love to eat nectar. Use several of these nectar- producing plants to attract them: milkweed, azalea, goldenrod, black-eyed susan, zinnia, aster, phlox, Japanese honeysuckle, ironweed. A few nectar-producing shrubs are: butterfly bush, various fruit trees, privet, lilac and redbud.

5. Butterflies need a place to lay there eggs. Witness the entire lifecycle of your new garden friend! Provide host plants where female butterflies can lay their eggs. Some host plants include: snapdragon, violets, milkweed, daisies, parsley, dill, Queen Anne's Lace, aster and clovers.

About the Author:
Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with craft ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more!
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