How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterfly Garden

Photo by Tony Alter

What Plants Attract Butterflies

Certain plants are better at attracting butterflies than others. Did you know that butterflies are dwindling in numbers? Particularly since 1980 due to deforestation, improper landscaping, and environmental changes are affecting many ecosystems. To keep a healthy garden butterflies of all types are our allies.

Create a Butterfly Friendly and Happier Garden.

Butterfly gardens, for example, are carefully planned plots that contain butterfly-attracting sprouts and plants to diversify and introduce butterflies to a particular area. By attracting butterflies, a plot can also attract other insects that assist in healthy growth and development of crops and blossoms.

The collection of plants for attracting butterflies is extensive and easily available to you if you interested in encouraging butterflies to visit your beautiful garden or plot. Whether you own an entire acre of land or just a mound of soil in your yard, plants for attracting butterflies not only add color to your garden, they encourage a healthier planet, too.

How do I begin the process?

It’s simple. Butterflies love sunny open spaces, little or no wind, and fresh water. Next, look for the best plants that will integrate into your current plot while keeping the area aesthetically pleasing. This depends entirely on your taste and your preferences. In addition, would you prefer to attract butterflies and not bees, or butterflies and bees but not hummingbirds? Each plant can attract multiple types of visitors, so take care in your decision making before you dig in to the process.

Do not be afraid of color! Butterflies are drawn to bright, lively colors in their flowers. This is a sure sign of a healthy spot to stop at. It’s most effective to plant clusters of these plants for attracting butterflies so they can easily find their particular favorite blossom.

In addition, the location of your butterfly garden party must receive plenty of sun and warmth. Butterflies may find a flower attractive, but if it’s not in the sun, you may detract more butterflies than you had hoped to.  Live in a colder climate? Drop in some large stones to absorb day time heat and provide an easy rest stop for tired butterfly wings.

What are my best plant options for attracting butterflies?

If you’re looking to attract all types of butterflies, along with their nectar loving friends, here are the easiest plants to start with:

  • Milkweed: This wildflower choice will attract butterfly larvae, encouraging healthy growth and survival of pupas into butterflies. It is a relatively common and hearty flower that’s often seen growing near streets.
  • Honeysuckle: Most people associate honeysuckle with the scent of Summer. So do butterflies! This gorgeously scented petite flower attracts a wide variety of butterflies very easily, and adopts into new gardens without much trouble.
  • Lilacs: Butterflies have good taste in their flower choices. Plant elegant lilacs in your garden to provide a spacious place for butterflies to browse at. This flower attracts over 6 different types of butterflies.
  • Goldenrod: Attract a narrower range of butterflies with this voluminous flower, but attract the most voluptuous of butterflies as well.

Many brightly colored flowers will attract butterflies because of their rich diversity and appearance in a plot. It is best to research your options for any area, especially if you are hoping to only have plants for attracting butterflies in your garden.

Learn more with this handy Farmer’s Almanac table that goes over all flowers and plants for attracting butterflies.

Call us for our a FREE 42 Point Lawn and Garden Evaluation.

Photo: Tony Alter

Santa Barbara Rose Garden Design and Installation Services

Santa Barbara Landscape Design & Build  Company Introduces New Rose Garden Design Services

Rose garden design and installationSanta Barbara, CA (PR.COM) May 28, 2013

Santa Barbara-based designers of eye-catching residential and commercial landscapes, Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc. have recently announced that they will be providing rose garden design and installation services for businesses and homeowners across the city of Santa Barbara. As one of the top landscape design and build firms in the Santa Barbara area, the company will enable clients to create spectacular rose gardens at their homes or businesses.

Gardeners know that climate, sun exposure and water play a crucial role in the growth of roses and successful rose gardens. Therefore, it can be challenging for many gardeners to achieve the results they desire.

It’s no wonder, then, that many property owners in Santa Barbara find maintaining a healthy rose garden a difficult task. That’s why Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc. is now offering clients the benefit of their 40-years’ experience through their new rose garden design and maintenance services.

The company’s rose garden design services comprise two separate areas – traditional rose garden design and cottage rose garden design. Traditional rose garden designs are ideal for those garden area owners who require a symmetrical look for their outdoor property. These symmetrical garden areas feature neatly manicured lawns that are laid out in rectangular or square shapes to present a uniform, classical approach to landscape architecture. Traditional rose gardens are also surrounded by paving stones or sod to section-off the garden from surrounding lawn areas, and create a unique ecosystem in which the roses can flourish over time.

The cottage rose garden designs are the antithesis of the traditional approach. These garden styles are only limited by the designer’s creativity and the need to ensure each bed of roses has the space to grow. Through this approach, property owners can combine flowers, logs, ground covers and stones to build a unique garden area that is truly their own.

Clients can create an elegant, highly personalized outdoor living space when they select Santa Barbara based Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc. as their landscape company for rose garden design and installation needs.

Please contact the company today at 805-765-2553 to ask us a question or book a consultation with one of their experienced team members. Alternatively, you can visit more of our website ( to learn more about the company and services.

Santa Barbara Landscaping Company Designing Enchanting Aroma Gardens

Santa Barbara Aroma Garden - Thyme


Santa Barbara Landscaping Company offering Enchanting Aroma Gardens for Santa Barbara Residents

Santa Barbara, Ca. (PR.COM) April 19, 2013 . One of the foremost Santa Barbara Landscaping Companies offering innovative landscaping services in Santa Barbara is Down to Earth Landscapes. They have just announced a new addition to their suite of creative landscaping services. They now offer Santa Barbara and Ventura area residents the opportunity to have their very own backyard or front yard aroma garden. These aroma gardens are designed to enhance outdoor environments with pleasant aromas that are unique for each season.


It is springtime and many homeowners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are now looking to improve the outdoor environments of their homes or business in time for the summer enjoyment. There are many popular and proven methods for upgrading garden landscapes, but aroma gardens represent one of the latest and most innovative trends within the landscaping industry. And now, through the team at the Santa Barbara landscaping  company, Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc., custom-designed aroma gardens are now available to residents across the Santa Barbara, Montecito, Santa Ynez, Ojai and Oxnard and Ventura communities.

Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc. knows how to design and plant beautiful and healthy landscapes and their knowledge and experience will ensure that the client’s aroma garden will offer a backyard environment in which to entertain party guests or simple relax with family. The company utilizes best-in-class methods in creating the ideal aroma garden for their clientele.

The company’s experience landscaping design staff often use gravel, flagstone or un-mortared brick to create a footpath or patio area. This ensures that there is crevices and cracks in which to plant fresh, aromatic herbs and plant material so that fragrances can be experienced wherever one wonders through the aroma garden. Aromatic plants used by Down to Earth Landscapes, in building aroma gardens include pennyroyal, Roman chamomile, and caraway thyme, with each offering their own distinctive bouquet of scents.

Property owners across Santa Barbara can now get a free estimate on the cost of installing their very own aroma garden by contacting the team at Down to Earth Landscapes, Inc. today. To learn more about this locally-owned Santa Barbara landscaping company and its full range of services, please visit

Santa Barbara Landscaping Company Introduces New Specialty Services

Secret garden and water feature

Secret garden with water feature

Santa Barbara, CA, January 19, 2013 — Leading Santa Barbara area landscaping company Down to Earth Landscapes Inc. has recently announced the addition of several new landscape services to their comprehensive scope of services. The organization is now presenting local area clientele with the opportunity to achieve unique garden designs and functionality through specialty landscaping solutions that are sure to enhance any home’s exterior.

Santa Barbara’s idyllic natural beauty makes the city the perfect place for homeowners to create the garden of their dreams. The area is home to many of California’s most attractive trees and flowers, mainly due to its climate, which is temperate all year round. Warmth radiates throughout the city, whether during the peak of summer or the middle of winter and many residents have found that the region is the ideal place in which they can create magical gardens for exceptionally memorable garden get-togethers.
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6 Easy Steps for Planting Bare Root Roses

January is Bare Root Rose Planting Season in Santa Barbara

It’s that time of year again in Santa Barbara. Before you prune any roses or tree you may already have (a blog that will be coming shortly in January), you should consider whether or not you’d like to include new roses and fruit trees in your garden this season. You will see them at every nursery and hardware store, but what is the correct way to prepare and plant them in Santa Barbara?

As always, our staff at Down To Earth Landscapes, Inc. is here to assist you with practical tips and suggestions on your latest project.

Like many other plant material, roses go dormant in the winter. They thrive in summer heat, but they also need their time to rest and rejuvenate. In California, we often need to force that sleep by cutting back the canes in a way that causes them to come back healthier. Roses that are cut back in that extreme way and are wrapped in plastic bag without soil in preparation for being planted or that come in cartons full of damp organic soil are called bare root.

The most important thing to note about these plants is this: the roots must stay moist. If the roots dry, the plants will die.

Our Six Step Approach for Planting Bare Root Roses

Step 1: Unwrap the rose, shake off the packaging material and cut off the tag. Prune broken root material. Plunge the rose into a bucket until submerged—for at least 30 minutes. Vitamin B1 can be found at your local hardware store. This will keep the roots from going into shock.

Step 2: Dig the hold in which you wish to plant your rose. The whole needs to be approximately two feet wide and one foot deep.

Step 3: Amend your soil. Refer to our previous blog regarding soil types and amendment (or give us a call) if you are unaware of the soil type you have. Use an organic matter specifically for roses in your soil amendment.

Step 4: Form a ten-inch-tall cone of soil in the bottom of the hole and center the rose on top of it. Spread the roots down the sides of the cone. Pull back fill into the hole, firming it with your hand (never your foot) as you go. Your hands will aerate the soil. Your feet will compact it.

Step 5: When the hole is filled, water until the soil around the plant turns to mud. Gently rock the rose back and forth to settle it in and to allow air pockets to bubble up through the mud. This process is known as “puddling in.”

When you’re done, the rose’s topmost roots should be barely below the soil surface, and the graft (the swollen part just above the crown), if the rose has one, should be well above the soil surface.

Step 6: After puddling, add enough backfill to level the soil. Make a three-inch-high watering basin about ten inches from the base of the rose. Stick a label in the ground beside the rose and you’re done.

If you follow these tips, come spring you will have beautiful roses. Roses bloom early in Santa Barbara. We often have first bloom by Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t it be nice to give your sweetie a long stemmed rose from your own garden?

In our next blog, we will explore bare root fruit trees, as it is also the time of year for those.

And, as always, we are here to help if you need us. Share your rose garden challenges in the comments below.

Planting a Herb & Spice Garden in Santa Barbara

Grow Herbs and Spices All Year Long in Santa Barbara.

Last week our blog was unusually quiet because my wife and I went on a trip to Milwaukee to attend a conference. While we were there, we discovered an amazing store called The Spice House. Check out their website— The Spice House. They ship!

Herb Garden  - Rosemary


Although we relished the cool days and beautiful autumn leaves, the realization that fall would quickly turn to snow there made us realize how lucky we are to be designing and installing landscapes in  Santa Barbara. Reflecting on this special boon of the Santa Barbara climate causes us to decide that a blog on Santa Barbara herb gardens was in order.
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English Garden Landscape Design in Santa Barbara

English Gardens and Country Gardens in Santa Barbara and Ventura

On our website, we’ve shared the appeal of a English garden in Santa Barbara mentioned how much we love to install

Santa Barbara English Garden

Formal English Garden

them. English gardens often have a practical, country feel that is intentionally unmanicured in their design. We love to use them because of their natural feeling and “wild” nature. However, the English garden design, is much more involved than many might expect.
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