Butterfly Garden or Butterfly House?

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

As I have mentioned before,  I am hoping for a butterfly garden in McIntire Park East.

Our family recently visited the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia.  One of the photos below is the welcoming, shady seat for observing the rose garden. Of particular interest was the “Butterflies Live “exhibit in the conservatory.  We enjoyed the many beautiful areas and enjoyed feeding the fish in the pond.

Viewing the butterflies reminded me of the active discussion going on on whether there should be some regulation of the Butterfly House Industry (BHI).  The Spring 2014 issue of American Butterflies has an article which discusses the pro and cons of “butterfly farming” for the purposes of keeping the butterfly houses supplied.  While it is true that visits to butterfly houses do raise awareness and conservation efforts,  there may be some harm to the butterfly populations due to translocation of species.

Butterfly Houses are usually very hot and humid to accommodate the tropical butterflies which most of us would never have a chance to see, and usually the are so crowded with people and butterflies that observations are often very fleeting.  In short they never seem to be a very relaxing place to visit.

Now just imagine an outdoor butterfly garden with a nice shady bench for sitting quietly and observing butterflies in plantings nearby!  All that would be needed would be some native butterfly plants surrounding a bench or two in the shade.  Sounds easy and not too expensive.  I hope we can do it!


Experience the wonderful world of butterflies! Tropical beauties, fascinating
and showy, transform the Conservatory’s North Wing into a wonderland of
vibrant colors…captivating sights…and extraordinary discoveries.

May 2 – Oct. 12, 2014

Daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Butterflies LIVE! is included with Garden admission: $11 adults; $10 seniors 55+; $7 children ages 3 – 12; FREE for children under age 3 and Garden Members