Who wouldn't want to have butterflies flying around the garden?  By planning and choosing the right flowers and providing for each stage of their metamorphosis you can attract them to your garden with ease.
Successful butterfly gardening is about more than just providing the flowers.  Food, shelter and water must be readily available.  The female butterfly will lay her eggs on host plants so that when they hatch, the caterpillar will have plenty to eat.  Caterpillars are voracious eaters so be sure to plant plenty of host plants.  Host plants are specific to each butterfly species.  Monarchs are attracted to milkweed while Black Swallowtails prefer fennel, dill and parsley.  Research which butterflies are common in your area and plant the host plant that the females lay their eggs on.  Female butterflies will choose to not lay eggs if they don't have the right plant for the larvae to eat.  Last but not least, provide water for them to drink by placing a bowl of wet sand in the area or make a mud puddle in a wet area of your garden.  You can find a list of flowers, both annuals and perennials, along with host plants on my website, South Carolina Garden Guru, here "Butterfly Garden".

Happy Gardening!

I purchased this book about 8 years ago at the Southeast Greenhouse Convention in Greenville SC.  I've never been sorry that I bought it!  It has everything you could possibly think of, including pictures!  This makes identifying your problem so much easier.  I've always believed gardening starts with a good reference library.  There's just something about looking at your bookshelves and seeing all that information at your fingertips.  If you are looking for a garden problem solver book to add to your collection
                                                  I highly recommend this one.

Today I spent the morning taking pictures of plants!  I couldn't have had a better day.  I have been wanting to get pictures for my website and haven't had the time until today.  With camera in hand I headed out to the local nursery, Brabham's Nursery & Landscaping.  The first thing I did was to ask for permission to wander the nursery and take pictures of their plants.  I would highly recommend Brabham's Nursery on customer service alone.  They were most gracious and willing to help in any way they could.  I came home with some wonderful pictures and thought I would share a sample of them on my blog today. 

Take a look at Brabham's Nursery & Landscaping website here: www.brabhamsnursery.com/ 
They have some really beautiful plants and you can tell they have been well cared for.  The staff was very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.  Definitely worth the time to go to and shop for your garden.

Do you think you should always follow the instructions on the those plant name tags when you buy a new plant?  I say no.  That same plant tag is in that plant whether it's sitting on a table in a Tennessee garden center or on a bench at your local Lowe's here in South Carolina.  Sun requirements would definitely be different, as well as water needs.  What will take full sun in a Tennessee yard may not, and probably would not, in a garden in South Carolina.  For that matter, the full sun is completely different in the mountains of South Carolina versus the sandhills area.  Research and learn as much as you can about a particular plant your planning on using in your garden.  Your gardening friends, the internet, gardening books written for the south, your local garden centers or Clemson Extension are all great places to gather information and ask questions.  Planning ahead and learning about the plants you want to use will save you time and money.  So don't always take the information on those plant name tags as the requirements needed for your area.  Just think of it as "generic" plant information.

Happy Gardening!
Have you ever wondered what exactly it means when the plant tag tells you Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, or Shade?  Does that mean all day direct sun, half a day or no sun at all?  Nothing is written in stone when it comes to gardening, you can only go by guidelines and you will always find exceptions to everything.  Talking with your friends and their experiences is always a great way to learn and find out what the best location for your plants would be.  Or you can always send me an email on my questions page and I would be happy to help you.

Happy Gardening!

Full Sun
When a plant tag tells you Full Sun, take into consideration the location.  With our southern summers some areas can get darn hot! When does it get full sun?  In the morning or afternoon?  The general rule for Full Sun is 6 to 8 hrs of direct sun. 

Part Sun / Part Shade
I have always found both of these light requirements to be interchangeable depending on the plant.  Some plants will prefer morning to early afternoon sun, while others won't mind the late afternoon sun.  Part Sun / Part Shade is as little as 3 hrs up to 6hrs of sun. 

Dappled Sun
Dappled sun is the sunshine that makes its way through the branches of the overhanging canopy. 

Full Shade
Full shade is less than 3 hrs of direct morning or very late afternoon sun.  These plants need to be protected from our hot summer sun.

All comments and suggestions are subject to South Carolina conditions and do not necessarily pertain to any other part of the US.