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  • Writer's pictureWendy De la Garza

Friendly Little Sidewalk Butterfly Garden

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

We have a huge mixed yard of grass, weeds and native plants that we mow. Our goal is to have a meadow of native flowers. So, we are starting small with a cute and friendly sidewalk garden! The area is approximately 5 feet x 5 feet and mostly sunny. Start by clearing out all grass. Remove everything! We want a clean canvas.

After we added bagged soil for nutrient, these were the plants we chose and why:

rayless sunflower Helianthus radula (it's interesting, has a dark contrast flower)

tropical sage Salvia coccinea (spreads easily and adds height)

sunshine mimosa Mimosa strigillosa (great ground cover and has magical purple flowers and touch sensitive leaves)

tickseed Coreopsis floridana (it's our State wildflower)

calamint Calamintha sp. (pretty dark green leaf color )

beach verbena Glandularia maritima (pretty flowers)

pink swamp milkweed Asclepius incarnata (maybe we will get some Monarch caterpillars?)

wild sweet basil Ocimum campenchianum (it smells great)

Finally, we topped the sidewalk garden off with pine needles. Little bits of grass still pop up, but instead of weed killer we always manually pull them. Chemicals are harmful to butterflies and bees. Luckily, we don't have to water very often because runoff from the street and the neighbors over-watering sprinkling system takes care of that!

I have ordered name plates to identify each plant for walkers and passersby. Because it's more friendly!

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