It’s that time of year when parts of the garden start fluttering, and butterflys can be seen dancing in the wind and lazing in the sun. Whether you have a huge plot or a small terrace with just enough room for a few pots, with the right plants you can build your own butterfly haven.
What is a Butterfly Garden?
It is simply a sunny spot, filled with plants that specifically attract butterflies and are generally nectar-producing flowers. Butterflies are present in almost every region of the world, so with the right plants virtually any spot can become a haven for them. Children will love spotting them fluttering about, and it can make a good game identifying the different types you see. If you are lucky enough to find one bathing in the sun, you can creep up, using one of our magnifying glasses and take a proper look. Be careful not to touch them though, butterfly wings are very delicate.
So here are a few pointers:
It it good to have a variety of different plants that flower at different times of the year, ensuring a ready supply of nectar for your visitors. In Spring good nectar providing plants are Cuckoo Flower (Ladies Smock), Forget-me-not, Wallflower, Sweet Rocket, Primrose and Daisies. In Summer and Autumn, Budleia, French Marigold, Lavender, Ice Plant, Red Valerian, Michaelmas Daisy, Scabious, Knapweed and Ivy are all good. The seeds provided in our Butterfly Garden Grow Set offer a range of perfect flowers that are sure to attract butterflies into your garden.
Butterflies thrive in the sun and the plants that attract them are typically plants that require lots of sunlight. When choosing your location, look for an area where there will be plenty of sun throughout the day.
Try and pick a spot that offers good protection from the wind – Butterflies are delicate and like sunny areas with very little wind. By creating a sheltered garden you will attract more butterflies. You can do this by planting tall plants and shrubbery to act as a barrier around smaller nectar producing ones. Choose plants that butterflies like to lay their eggs on too, they love cabbage plants but be careful as they will take over. Perhaps if you are growing cabbages leave a few unnetted so the butterflies can lay eggs on those rather than your whole crop.
Most pesticides kill or repel butterflies so organic growing methods are a great choice for a butterfly garden. Choose an area where pest control isn’t necessary or where you can limit your use of chemicals.
Most importantly enjoy and protect the butterflies that visit! Encourage children to observe them in their natural habitat and talk about the vital part they have to play in our ecosystem. Butterflies are a beautiful part of the garden and one to be truly cherished.