Butterflies belong to the order Lepidoptera, this means ‘scale wing’ and it is these pigmented and reflective scales that give the wide variety of colour that we see on their wings. There are four stages in a butterfly’s life cycle and each lasts a different length of time for different species of butterflies:
Butterflies and moths are extremely important indicators of the state of the environment. There has been a dramatic decline to Britain’s butterfly numbers due to habitat destruction, agricultural intensification and pollution. Climate change is likely to also be having a detrimental effect on many species. Where some will benefit from a hotter dryer climate, the unpredictable weather patterns will be causing problems for others. Although we may feel we cannot personally change a lot to help them with the climate change issues, we can help replace some of the habitat that they are missing by planting butterfly friendly plants in our gardens.
Even though they are not as effective as bees, they do still pollinate our plants. To attract butterflies to your garden it is a good idea to have flower all year round, with the spring flowers giving nectar to butterflies that are waking from their winter hibernation and the autumn flowering plants giving them nectar to see them through the winter.
Some of the plant species that are good for butterflies are:
Aster/Symphyotrichum, Buddleja, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Eupatorium purpureum, Gaillardia, Knautia, Liatris spicata, Monarda, Phlox paniculata, Rudbeckia, Scabiosa, Sedum/Hylotelephium, Verbena bonariensis see a selection of our moth and butterfly friendly plants here
Butterfly Conservation is the biggest insect conservation charity in Europe They run the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ each year inviting everyone to get involved by counting the butterflies that you see in one spot for 15 minutes. Here at Hardy’s we invite you to come and sit awhile in the lovely surroundings of our nursery and do a little butterfly count of your own. This year the Big Butterfly count will run from Friday 17 July - Sunday 9 August 2020.