Thursday, September 10, 2020

Notes from "Life Reimagined - Discovering Your New Life Possibilities"

This Summer, I heard Richard Leider speak on a webinar and was intrigued by his message. He mentioned that he is author, so I ordered some of his books from the library. I just finished reading Life Reimagined - Discovering Your New Life Possibilities that he wrote.

Below are some of the things that resonated with me and I want to refer back to:

- The old story: each of us starts off fresh and new, ready to learn and grow and discover our individual potential. We are upward as we go through our early years, and we continue to grow until about the time we hit middle age. At that point, we've reached the apex of our lives, the top of our parabola. After that, as we pass middle age, we begin the process of decline that takes us into retirement, then old age, and eventually death.
- The new story: arcs upward until it reaches a point at the top. But instead of falling back down along a symmetrical curve like the old image, this one dips a little and then goes back up. It continues to rise gently for an extended period, then levels off, and finally falls at the end.
- The journey of your life is like a series of twists and turns, choices, and challenges from birth to death. When you're on a flatter part of the spiral, your life is on a plateau. At those moments, things seem like they're under control. You have good work, good health, enough money, a solid base at home, a network of friends and colleagues with whom to share your life. At times like these, you may feel like you have this whole thing figured out. But then, inevitably, a trigger knocks you off the plateau.
- A trigger is a wake-up call - when the game changes and we have to adapt to the new game.
- A Life Reimagined mindset: you're exercising choice, demonstrating curiosity, and acting with courage.
- "Inner kill" - the condition of dying without knowing it. People with inner kill often feel that they either don't have enough or aren't good enough. They get stuck living in comparison with others or with some idealized, unattainable version of themselves.
- You have inner kill when you've stopped growing, when you've given up on yourself, or when you find yourself always taking the easy, safe way.
- Inner kill is the death of self-respect.
- Choice is not a choice. Choice is required. We are all challenged to choose, to reject victimhood, and to be choice makers.
- Curiosity is change. Curiosity is the way to open up life. It allows you to see the world differently - and to see yourself differently.

One of the sculptures at the Minnesota Goose Garden 
in Sandstone, Minnesota. I have wanted to 
go here for many years and finally went 
this past weekend with Olivia and Paige. 
It was a fascinating place that has 
hundreds of native flowers, trees, and shrubs; and 
informational signs about 
their significance in Ojibwe culture. 
There also are many sculptures throughout the 5-acre garden.

- Courage is a commitment. Courage commits you to doing something. It requires courageous conversation and bold action, whether large or small.
- Starting where you are, what would be the simplest first step you could take? Who is someone who could take the first step with you?
- The majority of people feel they can't talk about what really matters to them with those closest to them. You may bury your feelings, but they live on, eating away from the inside.
- In the process of reimagining your life, fear is the enemy. Fear of the past and fear of the future. Fear of losing what you've worked so hard to gain and fear of failing to gain new things.
- A Life Reimagined - six practices: reflect, connect, explore, choose, repack, and act.
- Reflect - pause before you start the journey and at various steps along the way. Look at what worked and what didn't work in your old story. See what you might want to pull forward into your new story in this new phase of life.

I've always enjoyed the connection 
between art and nature.
This is one sculpture that Olivia and I saw at 
Franconia Sculpture Park on September 6th.

- Connect - request feedback from trusted friends and guides.
- Explore - testing different possibilities.
- Choose - narrowing of options in which you focus on your priorities. Explore a smaller number of choices to see which fit your emerging sense of what's right for you.

Throughout the years, we have adopted pets 
from the humane society, taken in pets who have been abandoned, and 
adopted livestock/outdoor animals from neglect and abuse situations. 
I have especially enjoyed adopting older dogs, like Danny and Scooby,
who both came from a domestic abuse situation, and 
giving them an opportunity to live a more peaceful life. 

- Repack - deciding what's essential for the road ahead - what to let go of and what to keep.
- Act - taking action doesn't drain energy, it releases energy through the optimism that comes with choice, curiosity, and courage.
- Write in a journal throughout this process
- Someone who focuses on who they "used to be." They're not living in the present or the future; they're not living who they are now or creating who they could become. Simply replicating your past is a prescription for inner kill. Repetitive patterns deaden your curiosity. Reflection means resharpening your curiosity. It means exploring the future. It is when hindsight and foresight come together. It's blending the story of your past with the possibility of your future.
- Focus on fulfilling time, not just filling time.

Something that is fulfilling for me is taking photos of nature and
sharing them with others. 
Are my photos the greatest? No. 
However, as in this case, they capture a time in my life 
when I was surrounded by beauty and 
was grateful and joyful for the life I have been given.

- Connecting creates a sense of well-being for all of us in every phase of life.
- Family get-togethers at holidays or special events help build a feeling of belonging and community.
- Workplaces bring people together.
- It's also ordinary for connections to fray as we move into this new phase of life.
- The reality in this new phase of life is that it's all too easy to end up with a wealth of casual acquaintances and poverty of real friends.
- People have fewer meaningful relationships.
- Social isolation can take up to seven years off of your life. Isolation contributes to heart disease and depression; it influences your immune system and leads to faster aging and advanced health problems. The antidote is community or connectedness.
- At this point in my life, what gives me energy and what drains me?

What gives me energy at this point is seeing wildlife at our farm.
There's a mother deer and her fawn who are visiting us 
rather regularly now. I put out apples, carrots,
a bit of shell corn, and seeds for them.
They - along with rabbits, squirrels, opossums, birds, and cats - 
all are visiting the feeder to eat. 

- A Sounding Board is made up of people who get you and care about you. Are you open to having courageous conversations with them? Are they committed listeners? You could even have a decreased person on your Sounding Board - like a late mother or father, whose wisdom you respect.
- A person who embodies Life Reimagined has a formula that they go by: G+P+V. Gifts+Passion+Values
- Gifts - where you should begin when you're exploring a choice, change, or possibility. What are your strengths? How can you explore using them?

One of my strengths is homeschooling and education. 
This is something that I've done since the early-2000s.
Here, Olivia is holding a Green Darner Dragonfly
that was in our backyard this past Summer.

- Passion - What do you care about? What needs doing in the world - or in my community? Consider putting your gifts to work on some area of need that you care about.
- Values - how you see yourself operating in the world. What lifestyles and work styles fit your style? Your temperament? Your values?  
- When the elements of the formula G+P+V are in alignment, you live your best life. YOu're using your gifts on something you believe in, and your environment supports your effort. 
- Pay attention to things that grab your attention. When the challenges arise, that's when we learn who we really are.
- Transitions - and the art of repacking - have to do with the gradual falling away of the old and the qually gradual emergence of the new.
- Stuf that we collect can be tangible items that decorate our homes. It also can be memories, dreams, regrets - experiences and emotions that decorate our inner lives. Stuff can be habits, beliefs, ways of communicating, ways of relating to others, or a self-image that we've carried with us for years. 
- The stuff we collect comes to represent who we are - or at least who we've been. It reminds us of the jobs we've had, the interests we've pursued, the people we've connected with on the journey of life up to now. 
- Family photo albums filled with old pictures of kids raised, vacations taken, holidays celebrated, validate the way they've spent their lives. 

We took a family trip to Alaska in April 2019 to
celebrate Sophia's upcoming graduation from
high school. It was a wonderful trip!

- Repacking it to look carefully at what we're carrying: what's absolutely essential for the journey and what's not. 
- To repack is to decide what to lose and what to take. It is an expression of choice, curiosity, and courage. It is a practice that challenges you to lighten your load. 
- What are the chapter titles you'd give your life story? Where would the story begin? How would you organize the episodes? 
- Don't confuse who you are with what you've done. Your story is not the sum total of the titles you've held or the positions you've earned. Build on your story, but don't be limited by it.
- If you have an idea, a dream,a  hope, an aspiration, and you never act on it, you'll never know what could have been.
- Take one small risk a day. Start with something easy. Start with something you usually do -or don't do- because it's too ordinary.

I tried my hand at paper-cutting after 
seeing the work of the artist who taught this class. 
It gave me new appreciation for the work involved in her pieces.

- For the next five days, take one risk each day - and then write about it in your journal.
- We need to live our lives with choice, curiosity, and courage at all ages.
- In a world of change, there are two constants: having your own purpose and being connected to others.
- We are each an experiment of one. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the new phase of life.
-The ultimate discovery each of us can make is self-discovery. 
- Don't go it alone. Isolation is fatal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Good Among the Great - Book Notes

Recently I read a book called The Good Among the Great by Donald Van de Mark. People who are great tend to possess similar qualities that the author noted in his book. One person he said embodies all of the qualities is Meryl Streep. Each person, though, is able to work towards these qualities.

Below are the qualities and information from the book that I thought was interesting.


- It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction. (Warren Buffett)
- We are a product of choice, millions of choices that we make throughout our lives.
- It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. E.E. Cummings
- Individuals who are on their own paths...not copycats or followers. And they certainly don't worry about what others think about them. They're rarely insecure about their appearance, behavior, or life choices. They seem assured, independent, and even sometimes detached or aloof. They rarely depend on anyone but themselves. They often don't subscribe to the norms and fashions to which most adhere.
- Try to make things right with those you've wronged.
- If your routine is drudgery and if you're afraid or feel exhausted, then you are not on your path.
- They've often worked very hard for their money and consider wasting it foolish, even sinful.
- Be honest with yourself about your evolving needs, wants, likes, and dreams.
- Respect and feed your animal appetites - eat, love, and exercise.

August 2008

- Plan and then make shifts so that you spend more time being where you want to be, working where and with whom you want to work, being with whom you want to be.
- Encourage others, especially children, to follow their dreams, large and small.

Sophia with a hand-beaded necklace she made in 2018.
She won a Grand Championship award at the State Fair for it.


- Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. (Lao Tzu)
- No one has the time and energy to truly love more than a handful of people at any given point in his or her lifetime.
- They tend to be kind to nearly everyone, especially children.
- There are other places to focus your energy: work, animals, nature, art, and being creative.

Olivia and Sophia seeing a butterfly they raised ready to be released.

- Show love by respecting your children. Give them freedom as well as support.
- Demonstrate rather than declare your love.


- People who are unethical have to compartmentalize their choices, their thinking, and behavior.
- Your reputation is your personal currency among everyone who knows you.
- Every time you are called to make a decision, remember that many choices move you toward or away from being a better person and having a better life.

Choosing to volunteer at the nursing home was incredibly rewarding.

- Measure your choices by your inner, higher values more than the world's material values.
- Focus on creating a whole and integrated personality, routine, and existence.


- Those who feel and stand apart from the rest of us are the ones who lead us.
- After you're away from the media for an extended period of time, you will be startled how silly and invasive many media messages feel.
- Commit to taking a sabbatical once a week from electronic media.
- Take a minimum one-week holiday every year from the news.
- Escape societal chatter by going to parks, beaches, and the wilderness.

Canoeing at Gunflint Lodge in 2013.

- Don't be afraid to stand up and say, "This is wrong!" even if no one stands with you.
- Do what feels true to who you are - not what appears cool or fashionable to anybody else.


- Prize and protect your privacy with vigilance.
- Spend at least several hours each week in your own company without the distractions of the television, the internet, or other people.

I spend time looking at the flowers growing in our yard.
Taken in August 2020.

- If you are seeking satisfaction through recognition, you are not seeking it from within.
- If recognized, remember the cycle of human commentary - if you're celebrated today, you'll be torn down tomorrow.


- Quiet your internal mind chatter with meditation, nature, creative pursuits, music, and exercise.

A monarch we raised and released in August 2020.

- Don't be afraid of appearing detached, odd, or aloof; intense concentration may make you appear this way to others.
- Don't smother your children. Respect them enough to honor their independence. That's respectful, not needy love.


- Organize new adventures for the whole family.

We had fun go-karting on August 16, 2020, in
St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

- Try a new route to work.
- Take your next vacation in a place you've never been.
- Choose one night a week to cook and taste new foods.
- Read a book in a genre you've never read.
- Wear a piece of clothing that is distinctly foreign.
- Take a class in some subject you've always found intriguing.


- Resist the urge to always have an answer; practice saying, "I don't know."

I don't even pretend to know the answers about baseball. 

- Don't exaggerate or understate. Precision in language will tighten your thinking and improve your judgment.


- Relish the present instead of questioning past choices and events or rushing toward "what's next."

It's hard to believe that this was just two years ago in September.
We were enjoying a stop at Eichtens to sample cheeses and dips, 
and doing other fun fall-themed activities. 

- Resist the tendency to predict. Many forecasts are born of fear and discomfort, not knowledge.


- We work to become, not to acquire. (Elbert Hubbard)
- Create a daily routine tailored to your wants and talents, not just your needs or the needs of others.
- Be alert to what excites you.

Trying my hand at new types of art excites me.
This is my fused glass project before it went into the kiln.

- Seek and learn to enjoy time along.


- Treat everyone with respect - especially your subordinates.

Volunteers who helped with Olivia's 4-H OWLS project.
She planned this public garden that has native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.
The plants all benefit early-migrating birds, pollinators, butterflies, and
other wildlife. (Taken on August 22, 2020.)

- Being smarter or more capable does not make you better. There's much more to being a better human being than being clever and accomplished.


- Laugh at your aches and pains.

Getting ready for surgery - October 2019.

- Observe and enjoy comedians who get laughs without being hostile, aggressive, superior, or smutty.
- Never make jokes at other people's expense.


- Empathy is the first step toward anticipating others' needs and wants - invaluable in business and all aspects of service to others.

Sophia after foot surgery in July 2017.

- Being sensitive to others is not a sign of weakness but a sign of awareness, which is a strength.


- Duty is born of a sense of kinship with all humanity.
- No contribution or bit of honest effort is too small.

Volunteers at the Service Project Sampler Day that I coordinated.

- Help out in areas where you already have desire and skill.


- Be grateful that while much of life is not in your control, much is.
- Appreciate what you don't know, how much you can learn, and how much remains a mystery - and in that lies great possibility, hope, and risk.

A beautiful sunset in October 2018.

- Regularly take ten minutes to be outside. While you're out, fully engage each and every one of your senses and appreciate those natural things that delight you.


- Find quiet time alone regularly.
- Encourage and participate in artistic endeavors, no matter how simple.
- Keep a notepad or recorder in the car.
- Sensory experience suspends analytical thing and spurs creativity. take a hot shower, go outdoors, take a long walk, swim, or immerse yourself in nature.

One of the newest flowers in our backyard garden.

- Schedule time for daydreaming and time with no purpose.
- If you have children or pets - let them choose the game or activity and encourage them to create games of their own making.
- Change your routine routinely.
- Use your hands.

A window star I made in March 2020.

- Think of the creative process as one of allowing rather than doing.


- Celebrate surprises and successes immediately.

Celebrating Olivia's success with overseeing the planting of 
two public gardens in town. 
She has 4 more gardens that she is overseeing as part of 
her 4-H OWLS (Outdoor Wilderness Leadership & Service) project.

- Observe and participate in games and creative and physical pursuits.


- Resist detailed career planning. Allow yourself to stumble to the top by doing what you want to do.
- What do you really want and what really makes you happy?

Spending time with dogs makes me happy.
This is my brother's new Corgi, Bear.

- Life is short. Don't waste a breath on things or people who are tedious or irritating.


- Get outdoors.

One of the new flowers by the west side of our garage. 
It is the only flower that begins with the letter "K" 
that we could find that grows in our area in Minnesota.

- Train and exhaust yourself physically.
- Retreat on your own without distraction. Take the time to be still and listen to that small voice deep within you about what you're meant to be or what path you ought to follow.

Monday, August 24, 2020

What the Amish Can Teach Us About the Simple Life (Book Notes/Review)

I recently read What the Amish Can Teach Us About the Simple Life - Homespun Hints for Family Gatherings, Spending Less, and Sharing Your Bounty by Georgia Varozza.

Having been raised by parents who grew up during the Great Depression, there were many ideas in the book that I already knew. My parents were great role models in how to live simply and frugally, yet not feel like you're living in poverty. They created a life of joy and meaning and centered it around family and the beauty of nature. Of course, they also were very religious so that also was a key component in our lives.

My sister, grandma, me, dad, and brother celebrating my birthday.
My mom made a cake from scratch which was always the highlight. 
It looks like I was six years old. So, this was in June 1972.

Some things that resonated with me from the book:

- We see [the Amish] ordered existence and a deep sense of belonging their quiet and peaceable lives - and we yearn for these same things in our own families.
- The Amish way of life highlights the family. There is never a time when a person is considered a liability, no matter if young, old, infirm, or disabled in some way. Each person is loved, honored, and welcomed in the family circle.
- Some ideas for doing a family fun night:
   => bird watch

Sandhill cranes that Sophia and I saw on August 16, 2020.
This is part of the gathering of 49 cranes.

   => take a walk in the park or hike on a nature trail
   => ride bikes
   => visit the library
   => enjoy a backyard cookout
   => pick a book to read aloud together
   => fly kites
   => make homemade pizzas
   => make your own sundaes. Have plenty of goodies to sprinkle on top
   => play group games
   => enjoy a classic movie
   => make birdhouses or bird feeders and put them in the yard

Two new feeders we added this summer. 

   => write letters to grandparents or loved ones
   => make a family flowerpot. Each person chooses one annual flowering pot to put in the pot
   => stargaze
   => enjoy a family campout
   => as a family, write and illustrate a story
   => create a family newsletter and send it to your relatives
   => go through your photos and talk about family history
   => grab some magnifying glasses and go on a backyard bug safari
   => go to an animal shelter to pet the cats and take some dogs for a walk
   => go on a treasure hunt. Write clues that lead to other clues. Send participants all over the house and yard in search of treasure you've hidden
- create family traditions
- celebrate special moments
   => birthdays and holidays
   => well-earned grade
   => first and last days of school
   => getting caught doing an act of kindness
   => a goal or achievement realized

We got a French silk pie (Olivia's favorite pie) to celebrate the 
plantings of two public gardens that were part of a 4-H leadership project
she led on August 22, 2020.

   => first day of a new season
- build community
   => start a new church activity or ministry (or through a volunteer organization)

One of the public gardens that Sophia, Olivia, and I 
planted with volunteers on August 22, 2020.

   => at each church or club gathering, learn the name of one person you don't know
   => organize "card showers" where people send encouraging cards to shut-ins, the elderly, people who are sick or injured, and people who are struggling
   => make a sunshine box for a family or individual who could use a bit of cheer and encouragement. Sunshine boxes consist of small wrapped gifts with a card that explains the recipient is to open one a day
   => organize a neighborhood spring yard cleanup. Plant some pretty annuals to brighten the neighborhood
- Plan a weekly or monthly menu and stick to it. When you buy your groceries, you'll know what items you need and how much to make the meals you have planned

Salad using items in the refrigerator and tomatoes from the garden.

- Consistently spend less than you make
- If you spend less, you'll need to earn less, which means you'll have more time to spend with your family and work on meaningful activities
- Pay off unsecured debt as quickly as is feasible
- To the greatest extent possible, shun all types of debt. If you have to borrow, don't borrow the maximum you're able to.
- De-clutter
- What we have has nothing to do with our worth. We worked to meet our needs, and our goal was well-being, not making money or having more possessions. And because we weren't in the habit of always wanting something new, we weren't as distracted by possessions.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Top 12 Butterfly Garden Plants

This year Olivia and I are working on improving the butterfly garden in the backyard. Many years ago, when I did the art and farm camp at our farm, the garden was well-maintained and it had a little pond with tiny waterfall. The birds loved it. Having camp counselors and volunteers help with gardening made a huge difference in maintaining all the gardens.

This year, we are putting a lot of effort into the garden. I started last year and got some new perennials in it before Sophia's graduation party that was here. I had some annuals in it to add color since not a lot of perennials were blooming in late-June.

Our goal now is to add more perennial plants, with a focus on native plants that benefit butterflies, pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds - particularly early-migrating birds and hummingbirds.

There are over 700 species in the United States, with 161 species living in Minnesota. Although butterflies provide food for other animals, an equally important role is that they are pollinators. Only about ten percent of plants are self-pollinating. So, the rest of the plants depend on butterflies, bees, and other pollinators to help them reproduce. Without pollinators, many food crops, wild plants, and flowers would be at risk of dying out.

I came across a post about the top butterfly garden plants on Plant Care Today. Some of the plants were for different zones - ones that are much warmer than the one we live in. So, I eliminated those from the list. Below are the ones that we have added to our garden based on the article. The information noted is also from the article on Plant Care Today. The pictures show flowers in our garden.


#1 – Buddleia – Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush is a fast-growing, easy-to-care-for shrub attracts masses of butterflies throughout the summer with sweet smelling white, blue or purple blossoms. These bushes can grow huge, but it’s easy to control their size by just cutting them back to the ground late in the autumn or very early in the springtime.

Botanical Name: Buddleia Davidii and varieties
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 15 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (varies by type)


#2 – Phlox

Phlox has pretty, sweet-smelling blossoms in white, pink, lavender, salmon or red all summer long. \

Botanical Name: Phlox paniculata
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 1 foot
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8

#3 – Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop is a beautiful, rugged, drought-tolerant plant that does very well in hot climates. It produces blue blooms toward the end of summer that are highly attractive to butterflies, yet they are also deer and rabbit resistant. The flowers are sturdy and long-lasting and make excellent cut flowers.

Botanical Name: Agastache foeniculum
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 2 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10

#4 – Asclepias – Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed (aka Milkweed) is an excellent choice if you want to attract Monarchs. Adult butterflies enjoy the flowers’ nectar and lay eggs on the leaves of the plant. Caterpillars eat the leaves and make their cocoons on the plants’ stems. The most popular variety has orange flowers, but there are many milkweed varieties.

Look for Swamp Milkweed and Annual Blood-Flower for butterflies to add variety to your milkweed patch. Not all types appeal to all butterflies, but a good mix will help ensure a meal for a wide variety of butterflies.

Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 1 foot
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

#5 – Aster

The aromatic Aster plant is a wonderful choice to add color and attraction to your butterfly garden in the autumn. There are a variety of colors available that result in abundant blossoms in white, pink, blue, red and purple.

Botanical Name: Aster selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 2 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8
Note: Height, spread, and hardiness vary depending on the type of Aster you choose. If you are short on space, seek out Botanical Named varieties, which tend to be more compact and resist disease quite well.

#6 – Echinacea – Purple Coneflower

Purple coneflower is a hardy, pretty, useful plant that grows well in a bright, sunny butterfly garden. The plant is drought and heat tolerant and produces purplish-pink blooms all summer long; and the butterflies enjoy the nectar. The picture above is a different type of Echinacea called "Hot Papaya."

Botanical Name: Echinacea selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 2 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Note: Height, spread, and hardiness vary depending on the type of Echinacea you choose.

#7 – Salvia – Meadow Sage

May Night or Meadow Sage is a vigorous salvia cultivar producing abundant spikes of purple flowers throughout the summer. This heat tolerant, drought-resistant plant is easy to grow and well-loved by butterflies. There are other salvia varieties available in pink, red and orange.

Botanical Name: Salvia sylvestri
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 1 foot
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

#8 – Lantana

Bushes of Lantana flowers abundantly throughout the summer with pretty white, cream-colored, yellow, orange, red, pink and lavender blossoms. This plant is excellent in the garden or as a container plant. It is a good choice mixed into the flower bed or trained along a border.

Botanical Name: Lantana selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 10. Lantana grows as an annual in cooler zones, including Minnesota


#9 – Zinnia

Zinnias are popular with butterflies. Available in a wide range of colors and varieties, it’s easy to create an interesting, varied garden with just a collection of pretty zinnias.

Botanical Name: Zinnia selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 1 foot
NOTE: Height and spread vary depending on the types of Zinnias you choose.
USDA Hardiness Zones: Annual


#10 – Eupatorium – Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed is a big, vigorously growing plant that butterflies love. Some varieties grow to be six feet tall, but there are cultivars (e.g., Little Joe) that stay smaller. The plant produces billowing clusters of dusty pink blooms late in the summer and into the autumn.

Botanical Name: Eupatorium selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with moist, well-draining soil.
Height: 7 feet
Spread: 3 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

#11 – Rudbeckia – Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan is a daisy-like perennial that is heat and drought resistant and lovely in bouquets. Blossoms appear late in the summer and provide a tasty meal for butterflies and bees.

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia selections
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 3 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

#12 – Coreopsis

Coreopsis has pretty yellow blossoms and deep green, fernlike foliage. The plant blooms all summer long and can be encouraged to bloom even more with vigorous deadheading. In fact, trimming it back with the hedge clippers is a good way to get it to produce blossoms in abundance.

Botanical Name: Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’
Ideal Conditions: Choose a bright, sunny spot with well-draining soil.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 18 inches
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8