Butterflies and flowers go together like coffee and cream.

At the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show, performers with AirPlay Entertainment, a circus and variety entertainment company based at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, were on hand for the show’s nine-day run. At least one was dressed as a Monarch butterfly.

The species’ population has declined in the last 20 years, a woeful result of pesticide use, encroaching development on their natural habitats, and global climate change.

Still, there are ways that backyard gardeners can help butterflies during their approximate 2,000-mile migration from the United States and Canada to central Mexican forests. Among the easiest: Planting native milkweed and wildflowers, which can thrive in large and small gardens — even pots. Just be sure the plants have not been treated with with pesticides, insecticides, or neonicotinoids.