that face?!
(she told me she was “allergic”)

Marlowe has been asking and assuming our garden would be a butterfly garden for as long as we’ve been planning this outdoor space. She loves butterflies. So do I. Like, really really love them. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was her age. My grandmother once brought me back the most beautiful case of dried butterflies from Colombia and I treasured that thing endlessly until some punk friend of mine destroyed them. (Whatta jerk.) I don’t think I fully ever got over that. Also, two of the pairs of butterfly wings that Marlowe owns were mine as a kid!
Like I mentioned in our favorite book post, we like learning about butterflies. We always make it a point to search for them in gardens— our own and others as well. Forever ago— well, actually probably almost exactly a year ago) we had the very special experience of thousands (yes, thousands) of butterflies surrounding us in a greenhouse. Now that she’s at this stage where we can take in projects to not only have fun but also, to learn more too, we are. My sister in law gifted Marlowe one of those butterfly homes for christmas, and now that our garden is growing and full of plants, flowers, and other butterflies, it was time to take it out! It was such a fun and simple activity for us to enjoy together. And the joy it brought both of us to find the caterpillars bursting out of their chrysalis’ was awesome (I squealed when I found them! haha). And then to set them free to join their friends? The best. Also, how adorable is it to have your three year old choose a butterfly outfit for the event and ask to photograph her butterflies before setting them free? Everything about doing this with her was pure joy for me and of course her!

fyi—you have to order the caterpillars separately or find some of course!— otherwise you will get a lonely home 😉
Marlowe’s butterfly shirt is from el sage designs— a fun surprise gift we received earlier this year! Thanks Phoebe!


  1. Adorable! What some great photos! Do you have any certain plants or flowers growing to help attract butterflies in your garden?

  2. We have an easter tradition that our son, Solon receives catepillars in his basket to learn about and watch grow. Our last two were named Seeka, but this year he wants to name her (I tend to make butterflies female) Flower. <3
    Enjoy you two – have a lovely weekend.
    ps. dying over your steps, I can mosaic wood right??!

  3. I'm excited to have my son garden with me this year (now that we can have an actual garden in our yard and not just in pots) and I was going to plant some flowers to attract butterflies and bees, but in case that doesn't work out, I'm definitely going to get one of these butterfly gardens!

  4. Something in my Grandma's garden used to attract Monarch butterflies, but no one could ever figure out what it was. She also had something called beebalm that attracted hummingbirds. It's in the mint family, so we all got cuttings. One of my favorite childhood memories was waking up every morning and watching the hummingbirds from the kitchen window. Enjoy the butterflies.

  5. So sweet! Butterflies have always been an important symbol in my life too. The woman I was named after gave me a butterfly pendant when I was a little girl and I have loved them ever since. One of my tattoos is identical to Marlowe's shirt (the black outline). There is a butterfly exhibit at my local museum, this post just inspired me to bring my little guy to it!

  6. This is so awesome! We studied caterpillars and eventually released butterflies every year at my old school. The kids LOVED it. Last year every single one of our caterpillars hatched and they were so happy to fly away in the park…except for that one who was immediately eaten by a bird. Circle of life. The kids didn't even see it happen.

  7. Ahh, I want to raise butterflies! I don't recall a time I've ever had one perched on my finger, and such a thing needs to happen in my lifetime at some point. Now is as good a time as any.
    (Gorgeous photos!)

  8. What a wonderful idea, I think my littlest boy would like one of these for his birthday. I can imagine how lovely it was to find the butterflies when they'd hatched. Beautiful.

  9. That's so funny. I'm deadly terrified of butterflies. Every time I see one I run the other way. I love love your garden.

  10. I want to try this! My 3-year-old is obsessed with butterflies. And I love Marlowe's outfit, too!

  11. So fun and Marlowe is seriously just gorgeous….she just has the sweetest little face and the most beautiful hair!!!