Feed the Butterflies – Planning for the spring

Butterflies are not just beautiful, they are important for our future: without them and fellow pollinators like bees, hoverflies and other insects, there will be no food. That was one of the key messages Max and Christine Maughan shared in our November Wildlife Talk, ‘Gardening for Butterflies’.

The total area of gardens in the UK is greater than all nature reserves combined, so gardens that offer sources of pollen and nectar are a vital resource, and the increasing number of front gardens being paved for parking mean we should actively plant the rest to encourage butterflies and other insects.

Supported by many of Christine’s images, we learned about the many butterfly species we can attract to our gardens through the year: overwintering Red Admirals and Brimstones early in the year; Holly Blues and Orange Tips in the spring; the ‘Whites’ (Large, Small and Green-veined); the Skippers (Large, Small and Essex); the summer ‘Browns’ (Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Ringlet), and the beautiful Small Coppers and Common Blues. Each year in their Derby garden and allotment, Max and Christine record up to 18 different species.

But what to plant and grow? Scent, colour and open flowers are key, and Max and Christine described some of the many garden cultivars and wildflowers we can all grow, to give a flowering season from late winter to late autumn that, with a little effort, will attract butterflies and many other insects into our gardens.

Thanks to Max and Christine for a thoroughly entertaining and informative talk.

Join us on Thursday 2nd December for ‘On safari in South Africa’ with Barbara Myer

For full details of the talks programme, and how to join us, please go to www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=234