I have to confess that I’m very excited about the little butterfly garden that we planted last month in collaboration with B&Q. The flowers are still in bloom, and looking very lovely and, despite the fact that we apparently planted the wrong sort of dahlias for pollinators, (who knew that there was more than one sort of dahlia?! I did confess that I’m no gardener…) the plants have proved popular both with bees and with butterflies.
To the boys’ delight (and my relief!) our Painted Lady chrysalides all hatched out into butterflies. It’s a magical thing, releasing a brand new butterfly, bright wings unfolded and freshly dried. We relished the opportunity to observe these beauties closely and carefully. The boys were fascinated to watch one butterfly’s proboscis unfurl as it landed on the flowers.
We’ve been keeping a tally of the butterflies that we’ve seen, in order to report back to the Garden Butterfly Survey. This will be an ongoing project over the summer, but so far we’ve seen (in addition to our Painted Ladies who have returned again and again) Small Tortoiseshells and a Common Blue, as well as Cabbage Whites.
I’m sure, though, that in memories of my childhood summers, there were far more butterflies than we have seen this year. It’s clear that the work of Butterfly Conservation is very important. Personally, I’m feeling inspired to develop our butterfly garden over time, and to add more plants that are perfect for pollinators. I hope that you might perhaps consider doing the same.
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