Tuesday, December 9, 2008

High Rise Garden

One of the questions I get asked a lot is "Will buttefly visit my garden on the X floor ?"

The answer is - It depends.

If a high rise garden is next to a tall tree, wooded area or nature park, there is a good chance that butterflies will visit the garden, that is assuming the garden has something to attract them in the first place. A case in point is my garden on the 6th floor. My apartment is located not too far from a neighbourhood park. Just a month after I moved in I get Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus) visiting my Golden Dew Drop (Duranta repens) and Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix) plants. It visits the Golden Dew Drop flowers for nectar and Kaffir Lime to lay eggs.

I usually just let the caterpillars feast on my Kaffir leaves. However, when there are too many caterpillars, my Mrs will pass some to her friends.

Last month I saw a Grass Yellow (Eurema sp) and Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis) in my garden. The Grass Yellow was probably attracted by flowers and the Lesser Grass Blue was laying eggs on Desmodium weed. I have no idea how such a tiny butterfly managed to fly all the way up to a garden on the 6th floor and locate its larva host plant ! In the evening sometimes I see Hummingbird Hawk Moth(Macroglossum sp) buzzing around my Sui Mei (Wrightia reliogisa) plant. Just now at about 6pm I saw an Orange Awlet (Bibasis harisa) in my garden ! It is a rare sight as this is not a common butterfly. I didn't manage to take a shot of the butterfly but this is how an Orange Awlet looks like :

So butterfly do visit high rise garden !

I have to point out that I have lots of plants (>100), flowers and tall shrubs in garden. I will be planting some larva host plants soon and we'll see if that attracts more butterflies.

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