With conservationists predicting a bumper year for British butterflies, there’s never been a better time to take a walk on the wild side and get planting for pollinators in 2015.
The UK weather may have thrown some challenges to gardeners in the past 12 months, but it has been perfect for the nation’s butterflies – even rare species from overseas were spotted on our shores last summer. Conditions have been ideal for successful overwintering too, and experts say we can expect even better things this year.
Here at Thompson & Morgan we’ve got the bug for butterflies. The Scarce Tortoiseshell was spotted in our home county of Suffolk at RSPB Minsmere last summer – the first UK sighting of this rare beauty since 1953. Staff will be watching the Thompson & Morgan nursery beds and their own gardens this summer, hoping for the first sighting of 2015.
Helping butterflies on a local level, we are supplying plant collections and species within our Wildflower range to aid the creation of several butterfly-friendly planting schemes around Ipswich, carried out by ActivGardens, a local charity that seeks to improve the vitality of local communities. We are also teaming up with RSPB Minsmere, supplying free wildflower seeds for visitors taking part in wildflower and insect walks at the coastal reserve through 2015.
Nationwide we hope customers will be doing their bit for butterflies this summer too – encouraging wildlife doesn’t mean letting your garden grow wild. Thompson & Morgan stocks over 500 flowering plants that are just perfect for attracting butterflies and other pollinator insects to the garden - just select ‘wildlife gardening’ in our online plant finder to see.
You’ll also find our helpful articles and advice on how to attract butterflies and other wildlife to your garden, plus information about the Thompson & Morgan Butterfly Competition – you could win £50 of plants to help bring butterflies to your garden. The RSPB also has some great information on providing for a wide range of wildlife in your garden.
If our range of plants for pollinators leaves you spoilt for choice, try our top ten for butterflies listed here and let us know what pays them a visit this summer.
Plant some suitable nectar plants for butterflies and they will visit your garden, however small it is. Some of the best butterfly plants for summer nectar include Buddleja ‘Buzz’, Verbena bonariensis, Lavender, Wallflowers and Oregano (Marjoram). Moths will feed on the same plants as butterflies but are particularly drawn to night-scented plants such as Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Evening primrose and Night-scented stock.