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Garden Photo of the Day

Backyard Butterfly Garden

Beautiful visitors to a well-made butterfly garden

Welcome to Libby Breitenbaugh’s butterfly garden!

I live in Irmo, South Carolina. I have a medium-size butterfly garden that is three years old and very much a work in progress. My butterfly garden is mostly perennials with a few annuals. I have both nectar and host plants. My garden brings me so much joy. As you can see by my pictures, I also get other beautiful visitors in my garden. I have always had a love for flowers and wildlife. Each day I look forward to seeing who comes to visit my garden.

The butterfly garden in June 2019

American lady butterfly on Verbena ‘Lollipop’ (Zones 6–9)

Buckeye butterfly on ‘Salsa Red’ coneflower (Echinacea ‘Salsa Red’ Zone 4–9)

Dark morph of an eastern tiger swallowtail on lantana (Lantana camara, Zones 9–11 or as annual)

Coneflower Cheyenne spirit (Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ Zones 4–9)

Gray hairstreak butterfly (Strymon melinus) on May night salvia (Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ Zones 4–9)

A female ruby-throated hummingbird

View of the garden in June 2019

Wide view of Libby’s butterfly garden

‘Mandarin Double Scoop’ coneflower (Echinacea ‘Mandarin Double Scoop’, Zones 4–9)

Northern cardinal on bird bath

Silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Phlox.

Libby’s butterfly garden is a great success. If you want to create your own, remember to avoid using insecticides of any kind, plant lots of natives, and provide food for both caterpillars and adult butterflies. We’ve got ideas for great plants for a butterfly garden here.


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View Comments


  1. Garden1953 07/09/2019

    So very pretty! Thank you for sharing, and I'm sure the wildlife thank you too.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you!

  2. sandyprowse 07/09/2019

    Your pictures are just fantastic! Loved to see the butterflies and the cardinal on the birdbath. Your comment “My garden brings me so much joy” said it all. It is the best hobby ever! A beautiful garden. Congratulations.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you! My garden brings me so much pleasure :-)

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/09/2019

    Great pics!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019


  4. Stewpot 07/09/2019

    WOW, the variety of the butterflies is impressive. Great photos and flowers!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you! It's something I really enjoy doing.

  5. cheryl_c 07/09/2019

    Loved seeing the grey streak, which I have never seen before, and it was fun to see how you used Joe Pye weed in your garden as well. Perfect butterfly sculpt for the background! Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you Cheryl! I really enjoy all the butterflies that visit my garden, especially the gray streak. I also have milkweed but the Joe Pye weed is so tall that you can not see the milkweed behind them.

  6. User avater
    LollyGardens 07/09/2019

    Your butterfly garden is an inspiration! I love the variety of butterflies you have. Your joy in it comes through clearly.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you so much!

  7. User avater
    SimpleSue 07/09/2019

    Excellent photography! I know how hard it is to capture a butterfly on film, I've been attempting to photograph them myself with an old digital camera and shaky hands LOL!
    Your garden is a pretty little paradise for the butterflies and the hummingbirds. Such a welcoming garden to humans and little creatures.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you Sue! Your kind words brought a smile :-) to my face.

  8. Cenepk10 07/09/2019

    If I was a butterfly- I’d never leave that pretty garden.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you! That is such a sweet thing to say.

  9. BTucker9675 07/09/2019

    The butterfly shaped bench is the perfect accessory for your lovely and well loved garden - thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you!

  10. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/09/2019

    What a delightful collection of pictures, Libby. I enjoyed each and every one of them. I was curious about the named selection of verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’ that you have. Do you happen to know how much it differs from the tall more generic type. The name 'Lollipop' is very cute and makes me think it might be a bit of a dwarf form.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you! The Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop' is a free-flowering, dwarf Vervain with dense clusters of small, lavender to violet flowers. The butterflies love it!

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 07/09/2019

        Thanks for the info. I have gobs of the taller generic kind and this smaller sized one sounds like a treasure.

        1. User avater
          scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

          You're welcome!

  11. carolineyoungwilliams 07/09/2019

    Libby, your butterfly garden is beautiful; and the way that you were able to capture the butterflies and birds are awesome. I also love your bold rich colors. Thank you for sharing the results of your great work.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you so much for your kind words :-)

  12. Luvfall 07/09/2019

    It’s wonderful that you have used so many strong colors in your garden. Something I learned recently is that many of the new cultivars of classic flowers are sterile offering no pollen to bees and other pollinators. And some, notably the double coneflowers, have inaccessible nectar because of the structure of the double flower.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you for letting me know I had no idea that the double coneflowers have inaccessible nectar because of the structure of the double flower. They are pretty to look at but that doesn’t help the bees or butterflies. Going forward I will not go with double coneflowers.

  13. Katherine_8 07/09/2019

    Libby, all I can say is: When can I move in? LOL. Truly though, your garden is just perfect in my opinion and precisely what I would want in my own garden if I lived in a house or townhouse. I do the best I can with my balcony but it sure is nothing like that piece of heaven you've created. Beautiful!! :)

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/09/2019

      Thank you so much Katherine! You made my day with your sweet comment :-)

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