New School Montessori parent Carrie Driehaus came earlier this fall to show her butterflies and to talk with students about her backyard garden and the choices she has made in selecting plantings that are both beautiful and vital to the various stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle. The kids loved learning about monarchs and helped Carrie prepare and plant their preprimary garden this fall to give these plants a head start. These varieties of seeds can grow strong roots, remain dormant during the winter and be ready to go as soon as temperatures warm up!
Students weeded and used care to plant their seeds in the correct place and at the correct depth. They talked about the importance of making sure taller plants won’t block the shorter plants from getting enough sunlight. Each seed will either be a host plant for a butterfly species or will be a nectar plant to help attract the butterflies to come lay their eggs there. In the spring, they’ll add more nectar plants to help bring more butterflies to the garden!
Here is what Carrie and the students planted.
For non-caterpillars to eat this fall – Human New Schoolers like lots of lettuce!
Salad Bowl Lettuce Blend
Butterfly host plants (and the butterfly they host in parentheses)
A host plant is the plant that a butterfly will lay their eggs on. Hopefully the garden will be full of caterpillars in the late spring and summer that will turn into butterflies!
Whorled Milkweed (host to Monarch butterflies)
Golden Alexanders (host to Black Swallowtail butterflies)
Butterfly Weed (host to Monarch butterflies)
Swamp Milkweed (host to monarch butterflies)
Common Rue (host to Black Swallowtails and Giant Swallowtail butterflies)
High Mallow (host to painted lady butterflies)
Tall Vervain (host to common buckeye butterflies)
Additional nectar plants
Purple Cone Flower
Black Eyed Susans