How to Build a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden, Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, April-May 2022

Article and photos by me!

Researching color trends put me in the mood to paint, and learning how to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden has–ummm-planted the idea in my head! “How to Build a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden” was published in the April-May 2022 issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine, and since it came out, I’ve been thinking about starting one. A couple of years back, when I covered a design mansion and then toured it, there was a lovely, four-season garden. Maybe I can combine the two…

As an added bonus, the butterfly pics accompanying the article are mine! When I showed my wonderful editor, Kara, the photographs I’d taken, she said she’d use them instead of stock photography–yay!

Hon, have you ever planted a butterfly or hummingbird garden? Did you get lots of visitors?

Spring’s Secret Garden

Monarch feeding on a Butterfly Bush.

The Secret Garden was one of the classics I read to my children. We spent many hours in the car driving to Maryland and Long Island to visit family (hon, trust me, we know every rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike), and made the time pass quickly by learning language, discovering stories, discussing characters and predicting plots. I only found out later that “brain imaging has suggested that hearing stories evokes visual images in children’s brains, and more strongly if those children are accustomed to being read to.” (The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children  by Perri Klass, M.D.,The New York Times)

Wait! What? Something I did was good for my kids? Woohoo! Hopefully, that balances out the other stuff that might not have been, ummm, as advantageous.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Summer Blooms

I love the way the Swallowtail's wings curve ever so slightly towards the Cone Flower.
I love the way the Swallowtail’s wings curve ever so slightly towards the Cone Flower.

Happy First Day of Summer!

I’ve used up all my “Bmore Energy” throwing a huge party.  Last weekend, we welcomed guests from as far as Colorado, New Mexico and Nashville to help us celebrate a family milestone.  It was beautiful!  It was wonderful!  I’m exhausted!

Planning a weekend of festivities for over 200 guests took all of my time, so my blog simmered on the back burner.  My house is in clean-up mode and my energy needs to be recharged.  Tomorrow’s plans?  A hike to clear my mind.  After that?  DIY decorating blog posts.

In the meantime, here are some photos to welcome summer.  I took them at Ringwood Manor State Park.

When I say I have "Hot Pink Hope," I'm thinking of this Zinnia's color!
When I say I have “Hot Pink Hope,” I’m thinking of this Zinnia’s color!






Two Swallowtails flitted around the flowers.  I was so excited to capture both feeding at once.
Two Swallowtails feed at the same time. The angle of their wings seem to form one continuous line.  Exquisite!



Teen Daughter and fellow photographer.  We were snap happy in the gorgeous gardens.
Teen Daughter and fellow photographer. We were snap happy in the gorgeous gardens.

Happy Summer, hon!

Butterfly Video

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I planned to post this video on Valentine’s Day because I set the footage to Michael Jackson’s “Butterflies,” but then I baked Valentines cookies.  Enough said.

Every fall, migrating butterflies stop to feed on our butterfly bushes. Hon, hope you like this short butterfly video (1 minute, 27 seconds) of Monarchs, Swallowtails, a Clear Winged Hummingbird moth, another moth I haven’t identified yet and even a grasshopper (who knew?).  If close-ups of insects give you the heebie jeebies, don’t watch.  For the rest of you, enjoy!

Who’s ready for spring?