Tag Archives: Wildlife and Nature

A Monarch in the garden?

By far and away the best garden plant for attracting butterflies and bees is the buddleia, named by Linnaeus himself, after the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), a botanist and rector from Essex, England.
This nectar rich plant originally came from Asia, Africa and the Americas, and reached England only as late as 1730. Nowadays, it is ubiquitous, and can easily be seen on almost every piece of derelict land.
Buddleia must surely be the easiest plant in the world to grow cuttings from.
Once your buddleia bush is reasonably large, after a couple of years, you will need to prune it annually, right down to about a foot or so above the ground,  before it starts to grow too tall. This is best done around May 1st, to avoid late frosts. Virtually every bit that you cut off could be planted for new plants, and your neighbours will probably enjoy your free gift. If you prune your bush back vigorously, you will always get a lot more flowers than foliage.
With a little bit of luck, you should get a peacock…
or a small tortoiseshell
With luck, a Red Admiral…
or even, for punctuation fans, a Comma…

You might get something really weird. I don’t know what this is, but it ought to be called the Jaws Butterfly…
This year, we had our first ever Hummingbird Hawk-moth, hovering like its namesake…

In your wildest dreams, a Monarch butterfly may cross the Atlantic from the USA and replenish its energy in your garden….
Good luck!









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