Thursday, 26 July 2012
Butterflies are one of the prettiest of insects that can be found in the garden. When I was little I remember seeing so many different kinds of butterflies all over the summer drinking nectar on my mum's buddleia. Butterflies are suffering though, from modern farming techniques, and the use of more and more non-flowering shrubs and 'display' (too ornate for butterflies to feed from) flowers in public and private gardens. The recent bad weather has also not helped our native species either. One of the best ways to support all the species of butterflies is to plant all kinds of nectar rich flowers which they feed on. You can find details of all kinds of flowers at the Butterfly Conservation website, but here is a short list. Flowers that are good for butterflies in spring are bluebells, cuckooflower, dandilion, garlic mustard, pansy, primrose, sweet rocket, sweet william, wallflowers, violas. Flowers for the summer and early autumn are buddleia, chives, chrysthanemum, common bird's-foot trefoil, cornflower, forget-me-not, French marigold, globe thistle, honeysuckle, hyssop, lavender, lilac, marjoram, mint, valerian, thyme.
Identify a Butterfly
Seen a butterfly and not sure what kind it is? Identify it by looking at the Butterfly Conservation Identifier. You can also register your butterfly until August 5th in the Big Butterfly Count which aims to record the health of Britain's butterflies, and has been taking place every summer since 2010. Log your butterfly here.