March 2, 2016

Happy Camper Butterfly Garden

Three years ago we planted a small butterfly garden at our travel trailer in Matagorda. We named it Happy Camper Butterfly Garden and registered it as a Monarch Waystation.

Here's a pulled back shot, so you can see its size.

It may be little, but the beauty and joy it brings is big.

Our garden is planted with a mix of host plants and nectar sources: tropical milkweed, Mexican sage, fennel, coneflowers, lantana, yarrow, gomphrena, and small zinnias that usually come back as volunteers.

Right now the milkweed is doing its thing and hosting several monarch caterpillars. Some of these caterpillars are hatched from the eggs that were laid by the tattered butterfly a couple of weeks ago.

We counted eleven caterpillars, but there could be more. They aren't always easy to see. You really have to look under and around and all over. And then look some more.

This hungry caterpillar was hidden on the underside of a leaf, munching away as fast as he could. 

It's possible that our milkweed plants will be stripped bare the next time we see them, but that's okay since that's what it takes to make a monarch butterfly.


  1. Wow--cats already! I saw a Monarch a few days ago and was surprised that she was coming through so early. She did lay an egg on one of my tropical milkweed, so I guess we'll be in business soon. Nice post!!

    1. I've been told that not all monarchs migrate to Mexico—that some are local residents. I'm not sure that this is true, but it would explain the early ones and the ones in the fall that hang around for longer than a stopover. We've even seen monarchs in the winter on warm days.

  2. Kudos for supplying a safe place for the Monarchs to flourish.

    1. We get so much enjoyment out of doing it. Observing the lifecycle of a butterfly is a thrill.


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