Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday Safari.

I have a new friend. The Blue Tit followed me to the bee and butterfly garden....
I started this border in the autumn last year........and planted in the spring....

Native and non natives........mixed together in a large bed........I have been so pleased with the results. I am going to enlarge this border when the weather cools down.....


A silver Y moth hitches a ride on verbena bonariensis.....



The beautiful peacock on Buddleja Davidii......
Comma on another variety of the butterfly bush......
A Painted lady sunbathing......
Red Admiral on another Buddleja......

Pretty Speckled Wood on our native fleabane.......it has been a wonderful summer for butterflies.....they like this border........and I am loving it to.
Our native plantain....common, easy to grow and important to insects and birds. I am particularly fond of this little bloom. I love its simplicity..........
I had a wonderful safari....even the rear end of this little bunny did not bother me today...........well it did a bit.......





28 comments:

marmee said...

i love the fact you are having so many butterflies. we are having somewhat of a shortage here...maybe because our temps have been cooler than usual. i love them all but that peacock is just extra amazing.
i am happy for you that your bed with natives and non natives have worked out so nicely for you. i am going to try to get my wildflower meadow to do better next year.
so delighted to hear the bunny didn't bother you but just a little.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee....many have said that there is a shortage of butterflies this year. Our summer last year was wet and I had not expected to see many this year. It has indeed been a pleasant surprise, I am sure that planting carefully has helped.
I am sure that meadows take a while to establish, they tend to get better each year. Give it time.....it will be wonderful.

Happy summer to you.....

Liz said...

Lovely photos, and so many Butterflies! Well, I'm jealous that the Painted Ladies are still ignoring us here, the others I do also have visiting only they never stop still long enough for me!

We've recently had a few gatekeepers arrive too, and there's always Speckled Woods fluttering around teasing me...

Your border is clearly amazing for insects, I do hope one day to have as much success!

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....it is good to hear that you are having visits. I did see a blue the other day, which one I do not know, it did not settle. Hopefully it will come back.

I have really worked hard with this border and intend to improve on it each year....I have also created places to hibernate and host plants for the butterflies....so fingers crossed it will only get better....

Have a fun week.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

THose peacock butterflies make my mouth water they are so beautiful. It seems like our summer has been too cool and wet for most butterflies around here. I didn't get into my garden today. I was busy celebrating my Dad's 89th birthday. He is still in good health and such fun to be around.

Naturegirl said...

Cheryl this was a delightful safari of bugs and blooms and wings and a bum thrown in! LOL
Amazing the variety of butterflies
that visited your garden!

Wendy said...

Thanks to you, I am learning the names of those lovely butterflies! It's so much fun to be able to recognise some of them. Thank you for that.
Isn't it wonderful when a gardening project turns out right? And you have plans to add to it when the weather cools? Such a nice, satisfying feeling.

Cute little bunny's bottom! Have a good week - the last week of July.

beckie said...

Cheryl, what a joy to see so many kinds of butterflies in your gardens. As others have said we are finding few here even with all their faorite plants blooming. The good news is the bees are showing up in great numbers this year.

I added fennel. parsley, and more butterly weed this year. And am also growing Joe Pye weed and Obedient plant although they are not blooming yet. The buffet is open, all I need are diners. :)

Thank you for the lovely Safari today!

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Oh my goodness! You do have a wonderful group of butterflies!
All are SO pretty. I am partial to the Little Wood! Your photographs help me feel as if I am right with you in your gardens. I love seeing the little Blue Tit too. A charming bird.
The natives and non-natives work together nicely. Having host and nectar plants for the butterflies is rewarding. I keep planting more and more for the butterflies too.
Always I love seeing your bees.
Your header is very beautiful!
Bunny bottoms! Nice too see them leaving but I know they just had a very delicious lunch on my garden plants!
I had so much fun on Safari today.
Thank you.
Sherry

Cheryl said...

How wonderful Lisa...happy 89th to Dad....long may his good health last....

The peacock is striking but personally not one of my favourites. I tend to go for the softer colours (must say something about me)....

Liz said...

We had some Blues last year, but I didn't see any at all this year :(
I never managed to get an official ID of it, they were small though and I'll assume they were the common Blues. Whatever they were, they were on the wing very early - same time as the Orange-tips but whether that is a good indicator, I'm unsure.

Places to hibernate are a good idea, I've planned to put up spaces for bees/ladybirds by cutting up bamboo and I generally leave areas a bit messy - long grass and such but haven't yet really considered hibernation areas for butterflies.
I've also been trying to get hold of their laval plants ie bird's foot trefoil, vetch and so on but I'm unsure if I can spare a sunny patch for nettles.

Rose said...

Cheryl, I can't get over all the butterflies you have--just beautiful! Thanks for showing the Painted Lady and the Red Admiral side by side; I will have to remember their different markings:) Usually, both of them visit here, but we have had a shortage of butterflies this year. I've seen a few more in the past week, but they seem to be just passing through and rarely stop long enough for a photo. Seeing all of them surely put you in such a good mood that you could ignore that rascally rabbit:)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Cheryl, Love the blue tit and the bunny (sorry, they are not my arch nemesis!). Enjoyed a special on PBS last night on butterflies and then another on garden insects--thought of you, of course! :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Cheryl. You have some wonderful insects in your garden. What a pleasure it must be to live there and to see them daily.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I really look forward to your Sunday Safaris. Interesting about the fleabane. It's very similar to the one I have growing. I'll remember to watch for butterflies on it. In my area it has been a terrible year for butterflies. Extremely cold temps and hard rains all spring and early summer have decreased their populations. Saw a couple over the weekend but nothing near their usual numbers.
Marnie

Racn4acure said...

The butterfiles are liked winged jewels! Your photos, as always, are beautiful, so thanks for sharing them.
Art

A wildlife gardener said...

Whenever I visit your journal, Dear Cheryl, I feel as if I am a worker bee flitting among the flowers in your beautiful wildlife sanctuary :)

I do love your ladybird header. I don't think I've seen that one before...the ladybirds beside me have four spots.

What a delight to see so many different species of butterflies...I am hoping to see our fairies soon, now that the inula daisies are out.

I love how you called your echinops an insect magnet...that's what your whole garden is, I think.

Great shot of the beautiful mistle thrush...

Your wonderful teasels are insect magnets too...those bees drooling over them...mine are still to come into bloom.

Great shot of the busy soldier beetles...enjoying themselves, I notice :)

I have never seen...or heard of...a scorpion fly...thank you for that piece of knowledge.

I think you walk in beauty...like the lady in Byron's poem, Cheryl....

'But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind of peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent'.

These words epitomise you, dear friend :)

What a lovely time I've had catching up...thank you :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Naturegirl....I have most certainly been blessed this year with visits from butterflies. Today has been equally amazing....I watched a stoat hunt a mouse.....a green woodpecker taking ants from an ant hill and a grey heron flew over the garden. I am so honoured......

Cheryl said...

Wendy: I know the last week in July...where has summer gone? It rushed by when I blinked......


Dear Beckie....as you know you have always impressed me with your gardening. I am so pleased the buffet is ready and waiting for the butterflies. You may find that next year will draw them in. The first year I planted did not attract as much as I had imagined. I think it is all a time thing.....

Have a good week.....think of you always.....

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry....I have found the gardens rewarding this summer. It seems to be drawing more and more wildlife into it. I am excited at what is to come....

I saw a stoat today hunting a mouse/baby rat? It ran in and out of the shrubs....it was incredible........also the green woodpecker is visiting. I have many ant hills in my garden.....this woody cannot resist them....

Have a good week......

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz.....you could always put nettles in a tub.....I have known friends to do this and have much success......

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose.....It has been a good year for butterflies....as I walk across the lawn they are actually dancing around the flowers. It really is quite magical....I somtimes wish I magic someone here to share the experience with me.

I must say in all honesty the disappearing bunny bottom made me smile...I must be mad, but it looked so cute.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica.......to be in someones thoughts, even for the briefest moment, is an honour....tku.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....I am glad you enjoy safari....also found it interesting re fleabane.

I love to see your roses.....I do hope those nasty japanese beetles are in decline.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Wildlife Gardener....always a pleasure when you visit. Thank you for the beautiful quotes, I am honoured that you liken me to them.

I am truly blessed here....there are times when my body aches with the work but to see a sky lark overhead or to hear a blackbird sing makes it all so worthwhile.....

Liz said...

Exacellent idea Cheryl, I'll look in to having some sort of pot/tub of nettles in the future. Perhaps I could combine it with other natives like the trefoil and cisely.

Gail said...

Hi Cheryl, I love your new friend and that he wants to visit your very lovely butterfly and bee garden. Thank goodness for the bumbles and bigger bees because there have been very few honey bees in the garden. Even rarer are butterflies. Marmee lives about 30 minutes away and they are having the same absence of beauties, too. It's fun to have natives and special native friendly plants in a garden...there is room for them all! have a good week~~gail

Tina said...

Great pics! Thanks for giving me a name for what we have behind our shed in the back of the garden (called Barny – no it is not a barn but our entrance area isn’t a hall eather and that’s what we call it) – I sowed a mixture for bees’ and butterflies’ food plants. Had no idea they would get this tall. Have to walk through there to get to the compost, and to harvest raspberries, beans, and the lonely blackberry that is ripening – but am always afraid that one of those little humming bees might get into the legs of my shorts or under my t-shirt. But I love the wild look of that corner and all those different bugs having there feast in there.