I told you about how much my Grandmother loved her Pretty Boys in a previous post entitled Ma. Zinnias are an old-time favorite that have graced our yards for many years. It’s no wonder that we love them so much. They stand on short or tall sturdy stems, depending on the variety. They come in beautiful bold vibrant colors and are very easy to grow.
What I didn’t tell you is how much butterflies love Zinnias too. Plant these beauties in your yard and you will have butterflies flocking to them, literally! If you love butterflies as much as I do, this is something you will want to aim for.
I love watching them fly from one flower to another, drinking up the sweet nectar that my flowers provide for them. They look so graceful, almost as if they are gliding. I like the flutter of their wings as they zero in on their favorite meal. If you stand amongst your flowers the butterflies will fly right next to you and you can actually hear the sound of their wings.
If you are really serious about bringing butterflies to your yard plant some Lantana as well as Zinnias. I have both of these planted in my yard and I have several species of butterflies that visit regularly.
Another great tip for providing for the butterflies is to give them a place to rest and get water to drink. You can try making your own or purchase one like this.
My first bit of exposure to flower gardening came by way of my maternal grandmother, (Ma). She was an elderly country woman with no formal education but she loved growing flowers. What she lacked in education she made up in experience. She was a very hard working woman.
I used to follow her around in her garden as she lovingly attended her flowers. She would carry around a bucket of water and a “tin” can and give each plant it’s own bit of special attention. As we walked along she would tell me what kind of flowers they were . She didn’t know the scientific names for them but she knew what they were. For instance, I remember her showing me her tall Zinnias, with their bright beautiful flower heads and saying, “This is my Pretty Boys”.
This is something that has always stuck in my mind even when I didn’t know how much I loved gardening. Had I known how much this experience meant to me, I probably would have gone to school and pursued a degree in horticulture. I don’t have that education but I do have my grandmother’s love for flowers and my own love and experience.
There is still time to grow Zinnias this year if you live in an area where you have a late frost. Simply sow the seeds in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Follow the directions on the seed pack for best results. They make excellent cut flowers, so enjoy!