Riepenhoff Landscaping

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

Garden Designed by


The caterpillar in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate just about everything he came across. — apples, plums, even pizza. In real life, caterpillars are very picky eaters and only eat a couple of types of plants. Because of that, butterflies only lay their eggs on these plants. Riepenhoff has incorporated several host plants into its storybook garden. Apples, cherries, flowering dogwoods and azaleas all serve as host plants for specific butterfly species. American elms also provide cooling shade for humans while serving as host plants. Riepenhoff’s garden features a painted lady butterfly habitat, in which visitors will find these beautiful creatures in various stages of their lifecycle — adults, caterpillars and eggs. While the adult butterflies are feeding on nectar from various flowers, the caterpillars will be busy feeding on their favorite food — Canadian thistle. Although these butterflies are contained to their habitat, this garden is a wonderful example of how you can create an attractive, low-maintenance butterfly garden in your own yard. Providing nectar plants is important, but start by feeding The Very Hungry Caterpillar.