Lotusland of Santa Barbara preserves the incredible gardens designed by opera singer Ganna Walska. The collection includes a number of themed gardens, including the Japanese garden, the blue garden, and the butterfly garden. Comprising a wide range of flowering plants, the butterfly garden is designed to create scents that will attract beneficial insects. Some horticulturalists refer to butterfly gardens as “insectaries” due to their ability to attract helpful insects.
At Lotusland, the butterfly garden plays an important role in protecting the collection as a whole by providing sustenance for insects that eat pests like thrips and aphids. Located next to the parterre and the orchards, the insectary helps protect the flowers and fruits in these areas.
Lotusland has adopted a sustainable gardening plan that uses only organic materials to support the various gardens, and the insectary makes this organic approach to gardening possible. The insectary also enhances the beauty of the garden by attracting butterflies, especially monarchs, which only lay their eggs on milkweed, a central component of the Lotusland butterfly garden.