Sunday 11 July 2010

Dancing with butterflies......

Few things bring more pleasure to many people than their garden. How much greater the joy, if, as well as being filled with beautiful flowers, the garden is alive with butterflies.
Alas, today butterflies are becoming increasingly scarce, with many endangered and some actually extinct. The main cause of this scarcity is the destruction of habitat.
The British Isles has only fifty eight species of butterflies. We can all help these fragile creatures by adding a border to our garden. Butterflies are attracted to flowers by their nectar, their scent, and their colour. Those with the most nectar and sweetest scent, attracting the most butterflies.
The small copper loves fleabane. It's caterpillars feed on docks and sorrels. I grow both in the copse. I have everything in the garden that this small butterfly needs.
Seeds from Sherry have filled the garden with marigolds.....and they really are an absolute joy. They have filled the borders and pots with colour and have been used by many a passing butterfly. Tku my friend, for bringing colour into my life.........they are absolutely exquisite.

Have a bright and sunny week...............


  1. Dear Cheryl,
    I am so happy the marigolds have grown well for you. I love them. I have saved my marigold seed for over 35 years. Seed to seed, year after year, even when I was too sick to do much I sowed my marigolds and harvested their seed. Knowing they are growing well for you is so joyful....we are connected.
    Your lovely little copper tells all of us to think again about what we are growing...I too have fleabane for the butterflies. My yard is small but I make sure there are native plants for the butterflies. I am embracing bi0-mimicry in all my endeavors. Learning from nature and the creatures that call this area home how they live sustainably.
    I agree a flower looks right when the bees and butterflies are enjoying its nectar and pollen.
    Happy Sunday dear friend!

  2. Dear Sherry....I cannot tell you just how beautiful the marigolds look in the garden. I grew 120 plants, I shall grow more next year. My father has some growing in his tiny garden.
    I shall collect seeds, I have never had such large and colourful flowers before.....we are indeed connected.

    I am adding more and more natives to the garden.
    I grow english fleabane but it is not in flower yet, the little butterfly seemed happy with mexican fleabane.......
    There are lots of butterflies dancing around the flowers, getting a photograph is difficult at the moment....they do not settle for very long.

    Happy did safari go today?

  3. You are lucky with the butterflies you have. I have only had one Red Admiral this year. Most of them are usually here by now. Maybe it is the weather we have had.

  4. I also love butterflies and have many host and nectar plants. :) It's nice we can all create our own little havens in our gardens--not just for us, but for wildlife.

  5. Hi Cheryl,

    Looks like you beat me to the Butterfly post I had planned! Heheee, I'll wait a few days anyway as I have so many photos to catch up on.
    I haven't seen anything on my fleabane yet, but it is still small so hopefully that will change as they mature.

  6. Dear Cheryl,
    Thanks for the lovely comments on my blog. You have a great blog and I am going to be an avid follower.

  7. The butterfly pictures are so beautiful. I love the subtle colours, enchanting!

  8. Hi Cheryl, i love butterflies too, we have more species than the only 58 you have there. No wonder i know someone from here who exports pupa to UK. I was hooked with them for the last 2 years, studied them continuously till i learned identifying most of them and their food. However, my plan of making a butterfly garden cannot be done yet as i am still working and cannot be fulltime to do it. Thanks for visiting my site and putting mine in your blog list.

  9. What a beautiful post. The colours of this butterfly are special to me right now.
    Thank you, dear friend.

  10. I agree with Wendy, a very beautiful post. I'm almost ashamed to say I don't have one marigold growing on my turf this season. Next season from seed, for sure!

  11. Hi sad, I hear this so often now. Butterflies appear to be in decline generally.
    I know your garden is a beautiful wilderness, if they arrive in any space I am sure it will be yours. Tku for dropping by.

  12. Hi Liz.....As the fleabane spreads you will find more butterflies will visit. I have a huge patch (it used to be called the patio). Not sure Mr P likes the messy appearance but me and the butterflies think it is great.......

  13. Dear Wendy.....when the little butterfly came to visit I thought of you straight away. It seemed so strange that it should appear after reading your mail.

    Take care my friend.......sending you many healing hugs.....

  14. It feels good to be able to make our little edens for wildlife. Great photos Cheryl.

  15. Beautiful photos, Cheryl! I have always loved butterflies, such delicate, ethereal creatures.

    I am making a concerted effort to add more native wild flowers to the garden. My garden is looking somewhat neglected this year and the severe lack of rain hasn't helped.

    I spent some time with my books trying to identify the flower you showed recently but so far with no success. I will of course let you know if I do ever track it down.

  16. Cheryl, I so agree--while the flowers in my garden make me smile, the butterflies fill me with delight. Oh, if you could only see the butterflies that cover my coneflowers right now. It's a ballet that no artist could choreograph. I keep checking the fennel, parsley, and dill for baby caterpillars, but so far haven't seen any. It's been a great year here for butterflies, which makes me happy after last year's scarcity of them.

  17. Hi Jan....I think everyone's garden has suffered this year. The very dry weather has done us no favours at all. The thing with wildflowers, they are survivors, they have done that for hundreds of years. If ever you would like seeds, be sure to let me know.

    Thank you re id of mystery plant....I am very grateful.

  18. Rose, I am so pleased to hear the coneflowers are drawing in the butterflies. Also that you have more visitors than last year. It proves the right planting attracts the butterflies....well done.

    Have a good week.

  19. There is always great joy here when a flutter drops in for a moment or two. The Buddleia and Helenium are in full flower just waiting for a visitor but I think I have to follow your lead Cheryl and find space for some wild flowers.

  20. Hi Frank....I have buddleja (six shrubs) in my garden. The butterflies, of course, love them.
    Wildflowers rate high and there are some very pretty ones.

    The plant that attracts them most, as far as I am concerned, is verbena bonariensis....and they are so easy to raise from seed.

  21. The loss of habitat is such a big problem for all wildlife. I am so glad there are people who are concerned, and are trying to create havens for them.

  22. Hi Jenny....I think we can all make a does not matter now small it is.