What’s the idea?
Creating a butterfly garden is a brilliant way to make your outside space more colourful, and can help the butterfly population thrive.
What’s the story?
I love watching butterflies flitting around my garden and they’re just as pretty as the flowers they visit.
I’ve got some space near my house and I want to create a butterfly garden which will help with pollination and make the spot much brighter.
People should do this because…?
I read that butterfly numbers have declined in the UK by 75% since 1976 and this saddened me.
When I was young my parent’s garden was full of butterflies and now you see very few.
We need to help conserve nature and encourage wildlife into our gardens.
Butterflies are attracted to brightly coloured flowers and feed on their nectar and this helps with pollination.
Creating a butterfly garden is a great way to encourage your kids in conservation and gardening.
How do you do it?
It’s quite easy to start a butterfly garden and you may already have flowers that attract them.
First, you must choose a site that is full of sunlight and sheltered from the wind as butterflies struggle in windy places.
Also, select a place that isn’t isolated from other plants so that the butterflies are more likely to visit.
You can help them shelter from the weather by providing provide a small log pile.
There are lots of flowering plants and shrubs that attract butterflies but make sure you select plants that flower at different times for best results.
Plants that attract butterflies in spring
Butterflies need energy after hibernation or their winter migration and help them find a mate.
They form a dense cushion of colour and grow back year after year.
Always look lovely through the seasons, they are winter hardy and low maintenance.
Who doesn’t love these showy fragrant plants? They’ll bloom early and flower through to the first frosts.
Grow the perennial variety Erysimum ‘Bowles mauve’ to bring in butterflies.
They are a cheerful first sign of spring often seen in woodland clearings.
Plants that attract butterflies in summer
Butterflies require plenty of nectar during this season as they flutter around your garden.
Buddleia (butterfly bush)
It’s one of the best shrubs to attract butterflies because their flowers are full of nectar.
A compact plant that flowers well into mid-summer.
Stylish plants with tall stems and large blooms, they look fantastic in your borders.
Growing this herb is easy and butterflies can’t keep away.
Produce full heads of small flowers in pink, purple, white cream and red.
Plants that attract butterflies in autumn.
Butterflies need nectar for food to see them through hibernation or a long migration. Many will travel as far as Africa.
It’s a magnet for butterflies but choose a pink variety as they have the most nectar.
Provide colourful groundcover, they are very attractive and fragrant.
Often slow-growing and compact in nature, they grow well in containers.
They are daisy-like perennials that add colour when other blooms are fading.
Come in a variety of colours and are gorgeous to use as a cut flower.
Now you’ve planted your butterfly garden, don’t forget to sit and enjoy.
Stuff you may need
- Butterfly friendly flowers and shrubs
- Watering can