Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Moth Moon Garden

The Hummingbird Hawk moth is one of my very favorite insects. Last summer we had 2 hummers that visited our garden like clockwork, they came around the same time everyday. We always knew what time it was when we spotted a hummer.

The Hummingbird Hawk moth is little different than other moths because it is diurnal and it hovers in the air to feed. It is really fascinating to watch!


We already have a butterfly and bee garden so we decided this year we would call more moths to our garden by planting a moth garden (sometimes called a moon garden). For a moth garden you want light colored plants that have a strong smell and glow in the moonlight. We picked out lots of white and light colored flower seeds for our garden (zinnia, alyssum, chamomile, cosmos, four o' clocks, moonflowers, evening primrose, lantana, flowering tobacco, and daisies). These are just the flowers for the moths to feed on, we are also going to plant some of their larval host trees and plants. The Hummingbird Hawk moth's larval plant is Galium verum (Lady's Bedstraw), we would love to have Hummingbird Hawk caterpillars, so this plant is a must for us!
White Hydrangea photo by Fauna

I had the perfect book to introduce a moth garden to the little ladies, "The Moonflower" by Jean and Peter Loewer. The book teaches us about the moonflower vine and all of the nocturnal creatures that visit this fragrant flower that only opens in the evening.

It was only appropriate to start our moth garden by planting moonflower seeds.




We are big journal writers around here so we recorded moonflower information and the date into our seed journals after planting.

Then we created some of our own moths using pressed leaves and treasures found in the yard.


We still have so MANY more seeds to plant!

27 comments:

Maggie said...

The leaf butterfly is beautiful! I've saved a bunch of flowering tobacco from a patch that self sows so I can move it to our new house. It has the best smell.

Manic Mother said...

We have those too, the first time we saw one, we were convinced it was a baby hummingbird....lol.

Jessica said...

I love that book....and read it often at school this time of year.

Stephanie said...

Oh!!
I tried to grow Moonflowers a couple of years ago - for the same reason. :)
I wanted something that was particularly fragrant at night.

They never took though. :(

Maybe I'll try again if I see some seeds somewhere. (I ordered them before.)

Beautiful pictures!
(as always.) xx

Anet said...

I was just reading about a moon garden the other day. It's sounds lovely!
Your moths are adorable:)

Kelly said...

What a magical garden - a moongarden. We've been planting lots of seeds today too. The nature inspied moth you all made is beautiful.

Joy said...

That looks like lots of fun! Keep us posted on how the moon garden goes. :)

Toni said...

we get these moths too they are so interesting to watch, we have caught them- they are hard to catch too- and watched them . They are so neat. Love the moon garden idea, and moonflowers how neat I think we willplant a few of those ourselves.

Angela said...

beautiful! love the journals.

Annie said...

I've never even heard of those moths before! That's incredible! We'll have to look for that book at the library too. I love all these experiences and ideas you share.

Shady Lady said...

This is so cool! I had no idea you could attract moths with a garden and I've never heard of a moon garden. I'm learning so much from you!!

jane said...

I love this. I have friend who has bees fly through his garden every day. He says they are on their way to drink water at the river. Did you know bees did that? I´m such a city girl...

sunnymama said...

I absolutely love the moths you created out of leaves and stuff! So creative.

dongdong said...

That is amazing! My wonder with you never ceases. :) My kids and I would love to come to see your garden.

Such Lovely Freckles said...

I know this has nothing to do with the moths, but whenever I say those soy candles in the sidebar I'm reminded of cheese. LOL ;)

Lisa said...

The hummer does look like a baby hummingbird, that's what I thought the first time I saw one too.

Yes, Freckles, I agree the soy candles look like cheese!

Sara said...

Love the moon garden. Oh what fun it will be. And the journals are divine.

Melissa said...

Spectacular! I esp. love their renditions of the moths-- you are a thorough and detail-oriented teacher, I can see!

Do you soak and score the moonflower seeds before planting? I always did that for morning glory, and they are the same size/hardness.

dottyspots said...

I love the leaf moth/butterfly - such a lovely idea :0)

Lisa said...

Yes, Melissa we did soak the seeds for about 24 hours. However, we didn't score them....not a bad idea though. Moonflower can be a challenge to start from seed.

Jane said...

What a wonderful idea!!! I would love to be able to attract a luna moth. We had one come and visit last summer. It would be so fun to have them come to stay : ) I so love your blog thanks so much for sharing! I have gotten the book The Periodic Table elements with style, Im so looking forward to sharing your amazing ideas with my children : )
Thanks again!!!

Dawn said...

Your garden is going to be so beautiful. I love the leaf moths. I have Moonflower seeds on order and I'm looking forward to planting them.

Wendy said...

Okay, now I'm full of questions for you.

What kind of flower is that in the first 2 pictures with the moth? It's gorgeous!

Is that a cardboard egg carton that you're using to plant your seeds? And if so, can that go right into the ground for planting?

The plants you listed for the moth garden - do you usually start those from seed or do you purchase a plant?

I've never even heard of a moon garden before, but now I'd really like to have one! Truth be told, I'm the world's worst gardener though. Do you have any suggestions for me?

And as always, love your pics!

Leanne said...

How wonderful....what an interesting moth! Not quite as beautiful as the ones your sweet girls have made on paper though....

Lisa said...

The first photos are white butterfly bush, I didn't post the name b/c they can take over a garden. I haven't had that problem, but I have been hearing negative things about the butterfly bush lately.

The seed holders aren't eggcartons, but we do plan on using the cardboard type. The ones pictured are peet strips, I found them at LOWES with the seeds. Yes, you can plant them directly into the ground. You probably could with the cardboard egg cartons as well.

We are going to try to get those plants plants from seed this year. Some of the plants shouldn't be hard to find come later in the spring though. Moonflower probably need to be from seed, but can be hard to start, must soak the seeds and score them, then plant.

Gardening tips, I'll try to find a good site to direct you to. I'll get back to you on that one.

pomegranates said...

i am in love with this post! i just twittered it from both accounts. i think i will do this as well and it's nice to see others that do journaling with their children too!

andrea the pomegranates said...

i adore this and we finally decided on what kind of mini garden will go by the front door, a moon garden!! yay!!