Gallery - Butterflies in your Garden
Put your butterfly border against a south-facing wall to absorb heat and give tired butterflies a chance to warm up. In the sun at the front of the border you can put a 'basking stone' - a large upturned flowerpot or a flat stone.
Nettles are important to the caterpillars of peacock, small tortoiseshell, red admiral and comma. A sunny spot is essential so butterflies can find them. Put them in a big pot if you don't want them in your border. Cut back in late June to get new growth for the second brood of caterpillars. They make an excellent compost activator too.
Which plants are best for butterflies?
Always choose single flowered varieties. A mixture of flowers attracts more helpful insects and less pests. Link sunny borders around the edge of your garden for choice browsing.
Aim to have plants in flower from February to November, all the time when hungry butterflies are on the wing.
Avoid planting for only one season at the expense of others.
Expect to find most butterflies in summer.
Blackthorn, Bramble, Willow, Valerian, Honesty, Forget-me-not, Aubretia, Hebe, Woundwort, Alyssum, Wallflower, Primrose, Hyacinth.
Ragged robin, Birdsfoot trefoil, Raspberry, Teasel,
Hemp agrimony, Common fleabane, Yarrow, Cranesbill, Purple loosestrife, Knapweed, Thistle, Chives, Wild thyme, and Field scabious.
The Butterfly bush (Buddleja).
Lobelia, Phlox, Lavender, Mint, Privet, Statice, Marjoram, Runner bean, Ivy and Heather.
Golden rod, Honeysuckle, Nasturtiam, Ice plant, Michaemas daisy, Verbena.
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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