Our Guest: Michelle Cobb, Blue Iris Landscapes

Today’s guest is Michelle Cobb, owner of Blue Iris Landscapes in Colorado’s Littleton/Highlands Ranch area. She offers some helpful tips for attracting butterflies to your garden.

swallowtail-on-penstemon-blogAs a landscape artist and designer, Michelle Cobb has 15 years’ experience creating landscapes that creatively enhance the lives of others. She’s a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) and is also a Feng Shui practitioner.

Michelle is very passionate about what she does and she told me her work is much more than just choosing the right plants for a space.

“I create feelings, experiences, memorable moments for people,” she says. “It’s my passion and mission to transform an outdoor space into something that’s infused with someone’s personality, style and energy.”

Michelle enjoys design projects that allow her to create the ideal space for a client. One of her favorite projects is a 9-acre bird sanctuary that includes a community vegetable garden, orchard, cutting garden, picnic area and butterfly garden.

Butterflies are a symbol of renewal and rebirth,” she says. “In some cultures they are believed to be the spirits of loved ones. It creates good energy to invite creatures into our outdoor spaces in a chemical-free and sustainable way.”

Here are some of the ways Michelle recommends attracting more butterflies to your garden:

Remember that butterflies need water, sunlight and nutrients, just like we do. So, in addition to plants that provide a nectar source like Butterfly BushRed Valerian, Coneflower, Yarrow, Butterfly Weed, and Autumn Joy Sedum, they also need water.

Because butterflies can’t hover and their legs are short, they need to be able to land to get a sip of water. Two ways to provide water in the garden include:

Finding a boulder with a slight depression in it to catch rain water or creating a shallow mud puddle.

For the mud puddle, choose a spot that’s protected from wind, dig a hole no more than 6 inches deep and fill it with gravel and some manure or garden soil. When the butterflies drink from the mud puddle, they gain minerals from the manure/soil mix that they need to survive.

Michelle says, “The last step is to get your camera and take pictures of the beauty you have attracted into your space.  Enjoy!”

Blue Iris Landscapes is celebrating its 6th birthday. Send Happy Birthday wishes to Michelle@BlueIrisLandscapes.com or call 303.346.8115 for her help designing your own butterfly garden.


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