I showed you how we making some changes to our garden and making it more interesting, rather than functional. I have been involving the children in our garden design and asking them what things they would love in their garden.
My twin girls both wanted to bring butterflies into the garden, they get so excited when they see one flying through the garden, or when we see them they love to spot them and figure out which one it is. We visit the Butterfly Conservation website and app to help identify them.
So we set out to learn how we could do this and what would encourage them into the garden.
Plants and Flowers
The first thing that was a must have, was plants and flowers that they love. Butterflies love flowers like, Buddleia (The butterfly bush), Verbena Bonariensis, Lavender, perennial Wallflower (Bowles Mauve) and Marjoram (Oregano). These all produce wonderful nectar for the butterflies to feed off.
I was sent a Buddleia plant called Miss Ruby, which will turn into a large plant full of wonderful flowers for them to feed from. Once I have decided on the new layout of our garden I will place this with our new butterfly house.
To encourage the butterflies into your garden you could provide them with a butterfly house. We have one in our garden now, which has a small secluded house so that the butterfly has somewhere sheltered to feed or hibernate in. With trays and UV yellow pots to attract the butterflies to feed from, it won’t be long until they start arriving in your garden. We filled ours with sugar water and a few flowers inside. Once my Buddleia has flowered I will also pop one of the blooms inside the house.
If you have an area in your garden which you can turn into a wild garden, you can add in lots of fantastic plants and long grasses that the butterflies love. Also providing a home for caterpillars and pupae to hibernate in.
Butterflies prefer warm and sheltered parts of the garden, so look at planting your nectar rich plants in these areas. Also provide some rocks where they can sunbath in the warmth!
Butterflies need to feed throughout the Spring and Autumn, as well as the summer. So providing a variety of flowers to take you throughout the seasons will help the butterflies coming out of hibernation and then building up their reserve for winter.
Make sure you keep deadheading your flowers to encourage more flowering, watering well to keep the plants healthy and therefore produce more nectar. Also don’t use insecticides and pesticides, they kill butterflies and many pollinating insects.
To help support the butterflies you need to look after the young, caterpillars. The the more common caterpillars love to feed from plants like, stinging nettles (won’t have a problem with that in my overgrown flowerbed!).
I hope you to look into making your garden more butterfly friendly, we can’t wait to keep adding to our garden and encourage more butterflies to visit.