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Posts Tagged ‘plant nectar rich flowers’

Buddleia

By our back door we have a lovely big Buddleia plant which is now in full flower, the Insects, Bees and Butterflies love it, it looks spectacular with its covering of long purple flower spikes. The common name for the Buddleia is the Butterfly Bush which is quite evident when you look at it on a warm, sunny day it is a Butterfly magnet providing an abundant supply of nectar, it is definitely a must have plant in your garden if you love Butterflies, each flower spike is not just a single flower but is made up of hundreds of tiny flowers each one rich in nectar.

Buddleias are very easy to grow from seed and they will self-seed very easily, this plant was a seedling from my allotment which was growing in the onion bed, there are quite a few more growing there again this year which I will pot up and plant in my garden or sunny corner of my allotment, give to friends or to Thomas’s School for their wild garden.

This hot, sunny weather is wonderful for butterflies and will give numbers a real boost especially after the wet summer of 2012 which was the worst on record for Butterflies, but how do we know that 2012 was the worst on record? Every year, throughout the year there are many surveys to monitor butterfly numbers, you can take part in one of the worlds biggest surveys of Butterflies which starts this Saturday 19th July until Sunday 10th August, it is called The Big Butterfly Count. The Big Butterfly count is run by the charity Butterfly Conservation who have raised awareness of the drastic decline in butterflies and moths, and created widespread acceptance that action needs to be taken to protect these unique and beautiful creatures.

What you need to do

Count butterflies for 15 minutes preferably on a sunny day recording the maximum number of each species that you see at a single time and submit your sightings online before the end of August. You can submit separate sightings for different dates and places: parks, school grounds, gardens, fields and forests. This is a great family activity that you can do during the summer holidays, whilst you are away on holiday or as a class activity at school if you have time before the end of term. Submit your sightings online at before the end of August 2014.

For more information have a look at the Big Butterfly Count website, there is also a handy Butterfly Chart to download and print which will  help you to identify and record the species you spot.

Buddleia and Small Tortoiseshell

Buddleia not only attracts Butterflies and insects during the day, at night moths feast on the fragrant nectar rich flowers, so if you have space in your garden plant a Buddleia they are easy to grow, need very little attention and look stunning especially covered in Butterflies, if you keep removing the dead flowers this will encourage new ones, extending the flowering period and providing food for insects well into Autumn.

If you want to know more about attracting Butterflies to your garden click here.

Love your environment

Gill

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The prolonged wet weather that we have endured over the last few months has had a devastating affect on our wildlife says the National Trust, Birds, Bats, Butterflies and Bees have all been affected.

Pembroke Nest Box

Pembroke Nest Box

Birds have struggled to find food for themselves and their young, caterpillars and insects have literally been washed away, we can help birds now by giving them protein rich foods such as live mealworms and putting up nest boxes for shelter.

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Bats have been affected due to the lack of insects on the wing, although we cannot provide a substitute food source we can provide somewhere warm and dry for them to roost and breed by putting up a Bat Box (or two).

Sedum

Butterflies and Bees have suffered as they cannot go foraging for nectar rich flowers in heavy rain and even the flowers that they found were full of water. Bee Keepers and farmers are warning of honey shortages and reduced fruit crops. We can help them by planting nectar rich flowers in the garden such as Buddleia, Scabious, Sedum, Catmint and Lavender, if you have not got a flower border consider growing these plants amongst your vegetables or in containers and window boxes.

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Why not put up a Butterfly/Bee Nectar feeding Station or a Butterfly and Moth Feeder to provide some instant food, as well as a Bee Hive or Bee Log for shelter and breeding. Have a look here for more advice on attracting butterflies to your garden.

Frogitat - Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogitat Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogs and Hedgehogs have actually benefited during the wet weather, they have had a plentiful supply of food including worms, slugs, snails and the insects that have been washed to the ground. It is worth looking after these true gardener’s friends during the winter months by putting a Frogitat or a Hogitat in a quiet, wild corner of your garden.

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

Lets hope that the change in the weather and the new position of the Gulf Stream remains throughout the summer, as we and our wildlife so desperately need some sustained sunshine.

Whilst it’s here let’s get out and enjoy it.

Gill

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