Monday 26 July 2010

Butterflies, fairies, and warm summer days.

Butterflies are in decline in the UK. Can you imagine a garden without butterflies?
I have a butterfly garden.......I am going to do more to help these vulnerable creatures. I have plans for the autumn.

Bee numbers rise each year. I keep a record.
Poppi is learning how to take care of insects. She loves to work with them.
We planted butterfly weed today. The flowers are pretty.
My dreams are held in my grand-daughters hands. She is the future.
Poppi teaches me carefree planting. She is a free spirit.....I am learning her ways. We have something to offer each other.
I like the mixed plantings the borders carry........
I received this lovely watercolour from Lisa. A hand painted card arrived in the post. Such a pretty painting of one of my photographs. I have framed it and it now sits on the old chest in the sitting room. Tku Lisa, everytime I look at it, I will think of you.......


  1. I have released 2 butterflies this afternoon from our conservatory one a peacock and the other a red admiral I think. Like you I can't imagine a garden without them. Your grand-daughter is a lovely little girl - you are right they are our future!

    Jane x

  2. Poppi is the prettiest flower of them all..: }
    The watercolor card is so nice and what a nice thing to do for you!!!
    I have seen less butterflies then ever this year.... and there are plenty of plants that they usually are attracted too for them!!
    I planted a Red Cardinal plant last week...they supposedly like that ...we will see!!

  3. What a lovely thoughtful gift from Lisa. I know you will treasure it. I am always amazed at the creativity and talent of others. Poppi is so pretty--I just love her curly hair, like her spirit, is so free flowing. Do you think the dwindling butterfly numbers are from loss of habitat, pesticides, or both?

  4. No, a garden without butterflies would be sad. Lisa is such a great artist! And I love that Poppi is teaching you some things as well as you teaching her. By the way, how do you count bees?!

  5. Hi Jane, I get an a lot of butterflies in my conservatory as well. Perhaps it is the heat that draws them in.

    At least you have butterflies to release. Have you done the butterfly count? Butterfly conservation are asking people to go onto their site and give sightings......

  6. Hi Grammie....the more people that plant for butterflies the better.......I knew you would be helping these small creatures, in your part of the world.

  7. Hi Jenny....I was very touched by Lisa's kindness....and you are right I will always treasure it.

    The decline in butterflies, I believe, is due to habitat loss. I no longer see flowering meadows as I drive around the countryside.

    I have a railway at the bottom of my garden.....the embankment is heavy with wildflowers.....a bonus for wildlife.

  8. Hi do you count bees.....

    Well I don't actually count them. Walking the gardens everyday, you can very easily make a mental note of how many bees are around. Each day I write my findings in a journal.....the same with butterflies. My daughter will have my journals one day, and I am sure these record will of use to someone.......

  9. What a lovely watercolor from Lisa! She is so talented and thoughtful.

    I hope that the decline in butterflies is just a temporary thing in the UK, Cheryl. We had so few last year, but this year they are back in large numbers. And I've seen so many different varieties in the past week as well.

    You are making some special memories with Poppi. How wonderful to share your love of nature with your granddaughter. My two youngest grandchildren were over this weekend, and Emily enjoyed helping me pick some vegetables and then was the first to spot all the swallowtail caterpillars on my fennel--she was quite excited. Her little brother, though, preferred to pick up fallen apples and throw them for Sophie:)

    Sorry to be so short--I'm headed to Chicago to pick up youngest daughter and Coconut from the airport today. They'll be here for a month--can you tell I'm excited?!

  10. Rose....I am so pleased that your daughter and coconut are coming to stay. Of course you must be excited.....time with daughters is quality time and a rarity in our busy lives. Enjoy each and every moment......

  11. Hi Cheryl,

    Such wonderful photos, and whilst some Butterflies are dwindling I think perhaps others are doing very well – certainly around here anyway. But it’s the Blues and Fritillaries which seem to be struggling the most. Blues because they rely on ants for their next generation and Fritillaries due to habitat loss. The sooner Farmers take responsibility for their actions, the better in my opinion – they have a lot to answer for. And whilst yes I do understand they need to make a living, there are always alternative methods.

  12. Hi Liz....I have an abundance of blues this year. I have large ant hills in the copse. I also have a juvenile green woodpecker using them. Am despartely trying to get a photograph......he/she is gorgeous.

    Also had a song thrush cracking snails on the stepping stones.....haven't disturned her, but got a photograph of the lovely shell left behind....really pretty.

    I agree with you re farmers.....there are good and bad. Most of ours seem to shoot everything that moves.........and the fields are cropped within an inch of their life. No border grasses and flowers for the sky larks to nest in.

  13. Dear Cheryl,
    Lisa's watercolor is so pretty. Your photographs ARE inspiring! So nice to have "art" from family and friends in our homes! LIsa is a dear heart and so talented.
    I also cannot imagine life with out butterflies. I may not be able to lots of gardening any more but I do plant for the butterflies! Host plants and nectar plants are so important. More and more I am seeing less mowing near the road ways as ares are being restored to native plantings. I am seeing more butterflies as I drive about the city. Gardeners are the salvation for the butterflies!
    Always lovely to come for a visit. Your words are also inspiring!

  14. Dear Sherry, I worry for the wildlife in UK. Sadly many gardeners are going for the minimal look here. The free-flow cottage gardens seem to be a thing of the past. I am happy to garden in my chaotic way, as it is proving to be most benficial to wildlife in general.
    Teaching Poppi is a joy, and I also learn much from her......she sees things so clearly.....through the eyes of a child.

    I have planted so many wildflowers this year......I knew they would be beneficial to bees and butterflies but I had quite forgotten the moths. At dusk, it is wonderful to see so many moths feeding from them......

    Always a pleasure when you visit.....

  15. I like the little fairie in your garden best of all. Warm summer days suit her (and the butterflies and bees too). I am so glad to hear the bees are doing well. I was under the impression that their numbers were dwindling.

    I too will plant more butterfly flowers as I simply cannot imagine life without them!

    How thoughtful of Lisa to send you such a creative and beautiful gift. She really is talented.

  16. Cheryl, what a lovely painting from Lisa. She is a dear to share her works and I am the proud owner of a dragonfly card. :)

    Butterflies are here this summer in larger numbers than last year. I hope yours will increase next year. It makes for a lonely garden without them. Like you, Rose and I have added many plants just for them and their catepillars.

    Poppi is growing as fast as that butterfly weed! Such a good garden fairy she is becoming. :) I will save you both some seed from my yellow butterfly weed and give it to you when you are here. Can't wait!!!