Buddleia are in full, heavy, nectar perfumed bloom all over the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage.
This is one just opposite the front door.
The purple coloured blossoms droop expectantly, waiting for the seasonal Butterflies, but there are none…
What has happened is the fault of humankind, weather, pesticides, corporate greed and ecocide happening all around me.
If the Butterflies had to rely on the Bealtaine gardens alone, then the world is mad.
I fear, in this area, they do.
Flowers like these Perlagoniums hold nothing for Bees or Butterflies.
Colourful they are and I love the vibrancy and traditional look of them, but they are just that, traditional ornaments.
There are no others like this at Bealtaine Cottage.
Yet, parks are filled with these plants and others that are of no value to the natural world around us.
Gardens the same…
There is only one neighbour who tends a garden.
Only really one other garden in bloom with plants so loved by Bees and Butterflies.
The pathways in between are now cut as the silage machines level the meadows of meadowseet and buttercup and all the wild flowers much beloved of the humble Butterfly, whose days in the sun were always few and now, it appears, none.
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Butterflies need host plants as well as nectar plants. Check which butterflies are supposed to be in your area and then find out which plants are the host plants (meaning the plants that support the life of the caterpillar). Where I live, southeastern Michigan, i grow butterfly weed, which is in the milkweed family, instead of Buddlia as it supports both the caterpillar and then the Monarch butterfly can also take advantage of the nectar of the flowers. Native plants are more likely to support the caterpillars. Buddlia is endemic to Asia and while it supplies nectar, I’m fairly certain it is not a host plant to any butterflies, at least in my area.
Colette – You are very welcome. It was a pleasure and a privilege to write on behalf of your Mother, and I’m happy to do so anytime. She is a lovely lady – and she was delighted to know that you will be seeing her tomorrow. I look forward to meeting up with you too.
Colette My Love (this is your Mum speaking!) I want to tell you that the Bird Feeder you gave me for my Birthday is VERY SUCCESSFUL! The birds love it and arrive early in the morning and are still there feeding away and quarreling! into the late evening. They are coloured blue,black,yellow and white and seem to be almost tame – they come very close to me. I have also seen one bee who was very large and furry….bumble /queen? Many thanks for the Bird Feeder – it gives me such pleasure and also pleases the birds.
Oh Mum! Wonderful to hear from you XXXXXX I am coming to see you tomorrow! Great news about the bird feeder! I thought you would warm to it! Love you lotsXXXX See you tomorrow!
Thanks Christine for facilitating that! See you tomorrow too!
Here is US midwest, we had a mild winter and very early spring. Butterflies were much more abundant than I’ve seen in 8 years here. They rose off the oregano like a cloud when somebody walked by. Quite amazing. But they peaked early, so when the butterfly counters came out on the same weekend as usual, they got the lowest tally ever. Now we’re having record-breaking heat, so who knows what next year will be like. All bets are off.
This first-hand evidence is good to read and sad to read also. Climate appears to be changing fast and the wildlife is struggling to keep up. As I type this, I look out the window at the front of Bealtaine onto the purple Buddleia and it is totally bereft of Butterflies. Perhaps we will see them later this month. However, usually they are around for most of the summer.
It is indeed sad and shameful that the Butterflies have been prevented from returning to the waiting Buddlia. One day future generations will surely say…Man’s inhumanity to Man was no less appaling than Man’s inhumanity to Nature, in all her many and wonderful forms.
Hi Colette – a little bit of sun today and, it may not be much, but just counted 4 small butterflies out in the garden where all and any wild flowers that are happy here may grow. Moving to a larger place soon, but will always keep a “wild patch” for the joy and the beauty it delivers. Keep on spreading the word – Marian
Everything we have planted in the garden has been with bees and butterflies in mind but the butterflies are in short supply this year although we have four different types of bees that visit and lots of hover-flies, they particularly like the Phacelia that we planted. I do not understand why the councils here insist in planting bedding plants which are expensive have to be replanted and of no use to wild life.
We were so impressed when travelling through Brittany last year, every roundabout and grass verge was a riot of colour with wild flowers,planted by the local councils who had obviously thought about the planting plan and realised that these beautiful flowers will self seed and continue to give pleasure for many years, whilst saving money as well.