When Linda Auld took a class at the New Orleans Botanical Garden 40 years ago, she could not have foreseen how it would ultimately change her life. The talk by Frances Welden, a butterfly-gardening expert, inspired Auld so greatly that she has been raising butterflies ever since.
Next weekend, Auld will share her knowledge at the New Orleans Botanical Garden’s Spring Garden Show, slated for April 2 and 3. Join Auld at 1:30 p.m. Saturday as she leads a walk through the butterfly garden and explains the basics of gardening to attract some of the 45 species found in New Orleans.
“There are a few simple rules that I’ll be illustrating as we walk,” Auld said. “First, you need both host plants — butterflies lay their eggs where the caterpillars have food — and nectar plants — those that are food sources for the butterflies.
“Second, no pesticides! If you see aphids on your milkweed, leave them alone or risk poisoning your caterpillars and butterflies.
“Finally, you want to plant a mix of nectar plants that produce tubular flowers and those with flat flower heads to attract a mix of butterflies with both long and short tongues. The butterfly walk at the Botanical Garden illustrates these principles perfectly.”