Q: Recently I saw an article about dragonflies. It intrigued me since they are particular favorites of mine. You hear a lot nowadays about how to create a butterfly garden but I’ve never seen anything about how to attract dragonflies. Could you provide some hints on how to establish a “dragonfly garden” in your yard?
A: Since dragonflies eat mosquitoes and midges, I’m all for their culture and propagation. These fascinating insects are members of the scientific order Odonata. That makes me, and you, an ^odonatist^: “a person who is interested in dragonflies and damselflies”. It turns out that there is an international dragonfly society, which studies and promotes this world renowned creature. As for attracting them, basic to their comfort is a pond. There are many sources of pond building information; just remember to build yours so it has a shallow, mucky section in which dragonfly nymphs can live. Plant a summersweet (^Clethra alnifolia^) and some papyrus nearby on which the adults can rest. You’ll have an orgy of odonata in your back yard!