Hours: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday-Friday 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. for Night Eyes; Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. for Night Eyes Admission: $11 Adults, $6 Child; Night Eyes Admission is $6 or $5/members
Create Your Garden
Consider your space. Your garden can be as big as your entire backyard or as small as a single pot. Each garden is important and no effort too small! Gardens just need at least one host plant and one nectar plant from our recipes to be registered. When considering where to plant your garden, you should favor sunny, wind-sheltered areas. Keep in mind pollinators and their plants need full sunlight for at least six hours per day. Also, consider the soil quality of the location you have chosen. Sand, clay or wet soils may be difficult to plant in, and they may require specialized techniques.
Next, choose your plants. With the help of the experts at Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens, we have developed the following list of host and nectar plants that support local butterfly species. Many of these plants are native to the region, making them low maintenance and better adapted to our climate. The best gardens combine both nectar and host plants, encouraging pollinators to spend more time in your garden.
Start planting! Butterflies are attracted to large splashes of color in the landscape. Planting in groupings of 3-5 of the same plant is important when creating these color splashes. Purchase plants of different heights, creating tiers within your landscaping.
Photos courtesy of Nathan Brockman