Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunday safari

 My father gave me this Aster a few years ago.   He could not remember her name.   She looks beautiful covered in morning dew.
 When a butterfly visits, the flower fades away.    The beauty and fragility of the butterfly is all that I see.
Some of our butterflies are in decline......they need our help.      They cannot ask, but I can, on their behalf.   
It does not matter how large or small a garden is, we can all do something to help them.
Here are some of the  plants much loved by butterflies:-

Echinacea
Verbena Bonarienses
Sedums
Hemp Agrimony
Fleabane
Aster
Sweet Rocket
Lavender
Teasel

And perhaps, if you really want to help, you could plant their host plants.    Nettles (I know, we gardeners do not like nettles) but they are the host plant for many of our butterflies.
I understand you do not want them in your borders,  but a pot of nettles in full sun could make such a difference.   Wouldn't it be wonderful if gardeners across the UK put a pot of nettles in their garden :)

I do so hope you are enjoying this unusually warm October......

Happy Sunday safari

11 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We are having a cool October so far. Two whole days. tee hee... It feels wonderful to be able to get outside and not sweat. Aaahhhhh... Your butterfly shots are great. I love the Red Admiral. It is funny that we have some of the same butterflies flitting about the garden. I will look later when it is light to see if there are any in our garden. If so they will be slow moving becasue it is so cool and windy. Happy Sunday Safari.

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa,
I often see the Red Admiral on American blogs. It is a butterfly we share. An old favourite of mine.

It is roasting here. Way too hot for me. Mr P and I have just driven to Romney Marsh and had lunch. Delightful.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Aren't parsley and dill and annise host plants, too? Plus milkweed here, all of which I have. I love to see butterflies and bees and whatnot in the garden.

Like Lisa, I was surprised you have red admirals in the UK; for some reason I think we have mutually exclusive butterflies, even though there's no reason to think that!

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Without host plants the butterflies will die.
We must encourage all gardeners to grow the hosts....we must..
Your macro photographs are gorgeous....
I thought of you today while I was out with the butterflies.
We have begun migration.
Happy October.
Happy Sunday Safari!
Always wonderful to know you are taking care of the bees and butterflies.
Sherry

Country Mouse Studio said...

Happy October, such beautiful photos. We have a similar Aster but I don't know it's name either:O(

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica,

As far as I know the herbs are not host plants here. The Comma does use hops, as well as the nettles.
I was surprised the first time I saw a Red Admiral on an American blog !

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry,

Nice to have you back amongst us :)

I have a large patch of nettles in the garden. They are used by all sorts of insects, and are such an important plant for wildlife.
I can fully understand gardeners not liking them in the garden, but it is amazing how you get used to them being there.

Migration, sigh, how swiftly time passes......

Rose said...

Your Red Admiral is beautiful, Cheryl. We had a period of about a week or two where I saw quite a few of them in my garden, but not the great numbers I saw last year. I don't have all of the same plants that you listed here, but I do have a lot that the butterflies love. The echinacea seem to be their favorite, but they're also fond of the zinnias, which I have a lot of this year. Butterfly numbers were really down this year, and no one I've talked to can explain why. Two years ago we didn't have as many either, and then last year I had hordes of them, so I'm hoping next year will be a better year for them.

Hedgewitch said...

I've been amazed at the number of red admirals we have had in our garden this summer (something new to me coming from the city to the countryside) and we've been enjoying them, though I can't work out exactly what it is they like in our particular patch. Is it true about purple flowering plants being generally attractive to butterflies?

My blithering on the subject of weeds/backyard herbalism must have got through to hubby, because he has allowed a lovely little baby patch of nettles to develop under our lilac tree - safely out of the way of the little'un (following a sad episode in which he picked a handful of nettles amongst some grass he fed to our friend's chickens) This is fantastic for so many reasons - mix with comfrey leaves for feeding vegetables, making into tea, soup and tincture for health in the spring and definitely also for wildlife.

Cheryl said...

That is wonderful new Hedgewitch, Iam so pleased to hear that you have seen so many butterflies.
Yes bees and butterflies love purple/lilac blooms. They are drawn to this colour more than any other.

Poor little chap....I do hope he was okay, bless him.
I have an allergy to stinging nettles (a serious one). A herbalist recommended I drink weak nettle tea to try to build up a resistance. I drink it each day and it appears to have worked. I now have a mild reaction to them.

So pleased you have nettles in your garden, music to my ears.
Would love to hear more about the soup.......

Wendy said...

We are having cool temps right now, but it will warm up over the weekend. Your red admiral is gorgeous!
I wish people would plant more host plants too. It's not hard and would do so much good.
Hugs