Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Building a low cost Butterfly Habitat for Raising Caterpillars

This habitat at 3 ft wide, 3 ft tall and 1ft. wide is much larger than most people would need but there had been a mix up with our last caterpillar order and we ended with 4 times as many as we normally get and we were in a hurry to find a home for them all. 

We bought 2, 1x4,s 6ft long and 1 , 2x12 6ft long at a total cost of $10.14

We had a roll of window screen on hand and salvaged an old door so I'm not sure what those would cost you.

Construction was easy, we simply cut all of the boards in half. The wide boards became the top and bottom and the narrow ones for the upright corners.

Once we got everything together we had to salvage one more board to frame the door in with.

Here's the finished product. After we've raised and released all of these we'll be adding casters to what is the top here. That will give us a freestanding unit that can be rolled wherever we need it. The reason we'll turn it over is so that the door will be on top and easy for me to reach from my wheelchair.

We are still waiting for most of the butterflies to come out.

Here is the first one to appear.

I've got food, flowers and nectar in the habitat for them.

While they were in the house a couple of butterflies got out and lived with us for a while. One lived in the window next to my work table but didn't show any interest in going outside even though we tried it get it to go.

It stayed about 4 days and then Doug reached for it and it let him carry it outside where it sat on his hand and enjoyed the sun before it flew high up toward our big pine trees.

A few days later we decided to take the habitat outside and see if any of the others were ready to leave.

On the day we did that another one flew around the house and Doug gave it a ride outdoors.

The Butterflies get moved out into the garden

Even though we left the door of the habitat open but not all of the butterflies were in a hurry to leave.

This one sat on that flower for quite a long time before finally flying away.

What a great way to spend the day.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Black Raspberries

 We've got about half a back yard full of black raspberry bushes that are keeping us pretty busy. These bowls were just one days picking.

Sometimes I invite them to tea.

Choices are nice so I put out a bowl of fresh black raspberries, fresh raspberry scones and some homemade black raspberry jam.


I love the way these lilies wave hello as you enter the garden through the arbor.

These were a gift from my Mom and had been at the home place for decades.

They make me smile every year and inspire me to do something special for Mom every time.

I took this photo a couple of days ago but waiting for better sunlight and a few more blooms will make all the difference as I search for just the right image to use on some note cards.

I plan to make photo cards, cards from a drawing and then to painted ones. One in watercolor and the other in acrylics.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


I had to squeeze the tomatoes in wherever I could find room. I'm growing 3 different varieties this year but only have one or two plants of each.

Three of them are in a raised planter box and the others are in pots. 3 of those ride up and down the driveway in the wagon to catch the sun and 2 stay in place on the sunny end of the garden. It's going to be a great way to see which places and methods work better than others.

Many of them already have blossoms or small tomatoes on them so I'm hoping for good results.

For me a garden is a learning place as well as a growing one.

I'm pleased with the results so far and when everything gets ripe I plan to wheel the potted ones to the end of the driveway and sell them where people can pick their own off the plants which should be both fun and satisfying for the people who can't grow gardens of their own.