Garden Photo of the Day

Libby’s Butterfly Garden in South Carolina

A garden for wildlife of all kinds

Today we’re visiting Libby Breitenbaugh’s butterfly garden in Irmo, South Carolina (Zone 8).

I have been gardening for over 30 years. Gardening brings me so much pleasure. I started my butterfly garden four years ago. It has slowly transformed to not only a butterfly garden but also a wildlife friendly habitat for birds, bees, rabbits, and squirrels. My garden consists of perennials with a few annuals. I have both nectar and host plants. My garden supplies shelter, food, and water for my all my visitors. I live in Zone 8, in Irmo, South Carolina.

American goldfinchAn American goldfinch perched on the matching flowers of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Sonora’ (Zones 3–7 or as annual).

Butterfly milkweedButterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosus, Zones 3–9) is essential for any butterfly garden as a host plant for the iconic monarch butterfly.

Eastern tiger swallowtail butteflyAn eastern tiger swallowtail buttefly sits on the blooms of a Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, Zones 2–9). The big masses of flowers on Joe Pye weed are attractive to a wide range of different butterflies and pollinators.

A monarch butterfly sips on a lantana (Lantana camara, Zones 8–10 or as an annual) flower.

Orange and white impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, annual).

Salsa red coneflower‘Salsa Red’ coneflower (Echinacea ‘Salsa Red’, Zones 4–9). Coneflowers are a great source of nectar for pollinators, and many birds love the seeds once the flowers fade.

A variety of flowers to please all garden visitors, human and otherwise.

A wider view of the garden.


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View Comments


  1. Carolyn3134 07/16/2020

    Lovely! Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful colors!!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you! You are more than welcome. I love sharing my flowers with other flower lovers :-)

  2. Musette1 07/16/2020

    such a pretty garden! love the butterfly sculpture (bench?) thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you! Yes, it is a butterfly bench.

  3. bunny2luv 07/16/2020

    It's beautiful! So many red flowers to attract pollinators and hummingbirds. Thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you! Red is my favorite color :-) I love the butterflies and hummingbirds that come to my garden.

  4. cheryl_c 07/16/2020

    Loved the close up of the goldfinch, but especially the wider shot of how your garden comes together. Please send more pictures soon!

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/16/2020

    Libby, it is all just lovely! Can you tell me the name of the plant in the back of the red salvia & in front of the fence (I believe?) that is yellow orange?

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you! The yellow orange flowers in front of the fence are Lantanas.

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 07/16/2020

    Lovely garden. Wonder if we might be related? My mother was a Breidenbaugh.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you! My last name is Breitenbaugh. The names are very close!

  7. btucker9675 07/16/2020

    Goldfinch and Rudbeckia! What could be better! Thank you for sharing your garden of delights.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you so much :-)

  8. User avater
    simplesue 07/16/2020

    Everyone's garden should be so kind and thoughtful to wildlife as your garden.
    Beauty is common in a garden, but your kindness and thoughtfulness for nature is extraordinary!
    Thanks for sharing, we should all follow your way of gardening.

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

      Thank you so much! I do love nature :-)

  9. beetlesandbees 07/16/2020

    I love that you are providing this important habitat for our local pollinators and wildlife. Thank you so much for your contributions! For anyone interested, I highly recommend "Nature's Best Hope" by Doug Tallamy. Very exciting! Since you are on the flight path of the monarch, it would be amazing if some of your neighbors also get on board with habitat gardening to provide a habitat corridor throughout your. neighborhood. Are you growing milkweed native to your area for them?

  10. beetlesandbees 07/16/2020

    Oops, I missed the milkweed photo--well done! Very lovely!

  11. User avater
    scbutterflygarden 07/16/2020

    Thank you! I will definitely check out "Nature's Best Hope" by Doug Tallamy.

  12. Cenepk10 07/16/2020

    Such pretty colors. Very pretty. I plant black fennel for swallowtails. I hate squirrels & they visit too. But love the birds ... & the bunnies give my low energy dog a reason to run ! Pretty garden

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/17/2020

      Thank you! I will plant black fennel in my garden next spring. I do have dill, parsley and cilantro in my garden.

  13. joe_green_thumb 07/16/2020

    Very nice garden

    1. User avater
      scbutterflygarden 07/17/2020

      Thank you!

  14. DallasPlantLover 07/18/2020

    Gorgeous garden and gorgeous photography! Thank you for sharing your inspiring pollinator garden with us. 😊

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